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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Fiction and Reality | TV Series

Filed under: more than IT. english. — Tags: , , , , — supernova @ 12:07 AM

In the previous story I pondered on invisible reality and fiction that seems to be real.

The most visible form of fiction is the film business. Since this is exactly what we spectators expect Hollywood to provide that’s fine. We all want to forget about the daily routine from time to time.

I want it to be understood that this does not include documentary films as their goal is not entertainment and it would be very cynical to look at war reports as fiction.

Let’s go back to the film industry. Even though we know that the story is made up and that the actors are not identical with the characters they play the impact movies have on us seem to be real. At least this offers a possible explanation for the fact the some actors always play similar roles even if it might not be their own desire. Experts might think that some actors are born comedians while others are brilliant character actors or film companies do not want to change a winning horse.

Still, I am afraid that this is only half the story. TV channels bestow a never ending amount of series upon us. Although each episode is a story of its own they are all manned with the same characters. Each TV series consist of certain patterns which slightly vary from one episode to the next. Be it “Lassie”, “Bonanza” or “The Simpsons” we know the standard team that clings together fighting against the rest of the world. You will admit that this sounds rather boring and repetitive. Nevertheless, series and some characters seem to have a seat in our living room and given the number of episodes some series have it takes quite some time until we lose temper and fire them. Maybe series add some stability to our hectic lives and make a nice contrast to the news.

Media scientists analyse TV series. I don’t know the research results but I believe that we like – or in some cases don’t like – these characters for certain reasons. Moreover, it doesn’t seem to make a difference if the character is a comic figure or a real person. Yellow Bart Simpson and his hedgehog-like haircut have probably more admirers than the coolest FBI agent. If you ask me to choose I go for Wilma Flintstone – the comic figure. Why? Of all series stars she makes me laugh the most.

And this is real!


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