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2013/08/21

Fiction and Reality | Siri Inc.

Siri is annoying. At least she is to me and I am quite happy that she can be deactivated. Siri is not some lady but just her voice. The voice of a speech recognition programme which belongs to Apple Incorporation. This application is built into the new generation of mobile devices.  Basically, she is a personal assistant who answers specific questions. Siri’s voice sounds very humanlike and she possesses a small part of artificial intelligence.

Her answers to the first few standard questions are quite reasonable. Moreover, she correctly executes the commands one normally enters via keypad; without contradiction. In case you come up with the idea to ask her taking a dictation harness yourself with a lot of patience. Siri is quickly overstrained hence you should only use very short phrases and never forget to say “done” if you want her to digitalize the text. And please remember: long and complicated phrases are too much for Siri’s attention span. Ooh, what would you say if your assistant (the human one) was a difficult to deal with?

 

But let’s be patient with Siri. After all she is just speech recognition software and belongs to specific field within information technology, known as “artificial intelligence”.

Computer games are as well based on this technology. Since a game comprises a finite number of possibilities – even if there are several millions – the can be programmed upfront. This means the system always knows what to do next. No doubt, a machine does routine jobs faster and more accurately that human beings ever will be able to. After all, we have some more things to take care of.

On the other hand languages have hardly any combinatory limits and it is very difficult to predict what the other person will say next.

As we see artificial intelligence has its limits which might as well have to do with the definition of what intelligence is.

To us intelligence real but still we miss a clear definition of the notion “intelligence”. But this lack does not hinder us to develop tests that score human intelligence with a simple number. Even though this number is – as I claim –virtual it has a palpable effect. The exclusive club “Mensa International” for example accepts individuals that passed the test with a score of 130. The observation of how some people fight to be affiliated makes me doubt the reality of their intelligence.

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