I can almost ascertain that most of you were not born before telephones went wireless. Not even that; let me take us even more back in time. Back to the dark ages when the concept of instant messaging, telephones and computers, in general, would have quickly passed for voodoo. Get this mental picture before snapping back to reality and to these golden ages of all the technologies that have materialized. Relatively, we are so advanced as a species that we can communicate with our inanimate gadgets. Thanks to cutting edge technologies like Bixby, Amazon Alexa, Cortana, Google Assistant, Siri, etc.
Amongst all the voice recognition systems that I have interacted with, Siri has stood out with excellent features. Well, you might hold a contrary notion, but all the same, let us talk about some of the Siri features that stand out from the rest. For instance, Siri has a rational sense of humor. Talk about Siri having a thing with the matrix system accompanied by an ultra-realistic voice. Talk to Siri and notice interval breathers, just as humans do during a natural talk.
All these advancements can be acknowledged to the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI), which has taken center stage as far as technological advancements are concerned. Allow me to leave it at that and not to touch on more profound ideas of Machine Learning that has made AI possible. Alternatively, should I add a hint on the programming structure of neuron networks that programmers usually use as they ‘do their thing’ in PYTHON; They insist that it is the computer language of the future, but I digress!
What to say to Siri
Siri has come a long way from misconceiving many individual verbal commands to its present state of fluidity in interpretation. Much as Apple has developed general guidelines on how to command Siri to action, one may still prompt their orders in their preferred format(s). Siri comes in handy both online and offline. For offline, it is when you intend to navigate through the phone such as scrolling through numerous contacts, opening the gallery, settings, etc.
When going online, Siri will help you search the web with any question of interest. This feature should, however, be used very carefully as some people have landed on the wrong side of the law. For instance, searching for places to procure an Ak-47, or to hide a body will undoubtedly go un-noticed by the defense forces. These are not mere speculations. People have landed in jail for such searches. It turns out that Siri is populated with a set of ‘keywords’ that when searched, alerts the CIA for further investigations, so stay woke.
‘Her’ helping hand stretches beyond just searching. Getting organized has never gotten any easier with Siri. ‘she’ll’ check your calendar, navigate you by calling you an Uber, checking your flight’s status and guide you around foreign lands. While visiting ‘these lands,’ you may need Siri to help you out with translating a few words, or paragraph for that matter.
Even when you are bored, you may play some games with ‘her’ or pull out a few knock, knock jokes. Get her to play music from Apple music store. Some cases have arisen that Siri has been used, not as virtual personal assistance but to elevate the spirits of ‘abnormal’ people. This group of people includes but not limited to; Dyslexic people to articulate their concerns well due to their inadequacy in reading. People with Dementia that have to constantly archive their day to day daily activities for recall later. People with Autism seeking for a ‘consistent buddy’ that will not get offended with trivial questions have found Siri quite engaging.
The list is endless really. We are approaching times when the only question will be, “What is not possible with Siri?” We are yet to talk in brief about our next technological frontier. Before that, let us see what not to ask Siri.
What happens when you tell Siri 112?
Siri, as we have seen, can come in handy at so many levels. However, there are some restrictions that out to be considered while talking to Siri. Back in the year 2007, the first people to realize that Siri could contact emergency services ended up misusing this service by pranking their friends and relative.
That is actually, what happens when Siri is instructed with a certain set of numbers such as 112, 108, 911, 102, 110, 000, etc. Siri is programmed with this and more set of numbers to mean emergency services such as the Fire-fighting department, the police or Ambulance services. These services are contacted depending on one’s geographical location.
Therefore, caution should be exercised when talking to Siri about three-digit numbers. You would not want to do a prank call then face the Police unit with nothing to say, would you? Besides, going ahead with this call means that you ignored the 5 seconds grace period that Siri gives out before actually initiating the call. Terminate the call during this grace period before you find yourself in trouble with the emergency services.
The next technological frontier?
It’s ok to go wild with creativity in line with technological leaps. Take for example that with the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) gradually gaining momentum, voice recognition systems might be incorporated as a means to control ‘robots’ either around the homestead or in the industry. Presently, Siri can only do virtual tasks, but imagine being able to command some of the cutting-edge robotics with your voice.
I am not sure you’ve seen what Boston Dynamics are doing in the field of robotics. You should check them out on YouTube. Imagine being able to order that vacuum cleaner or dishwasher to do spring to action at the comfort of your couch via Siri. Such kinds of robots are the ones that we should be able to command soon with voice recognition systems like Siri. Yes, just like in Sci-Fi movies. I can’t wait to see what our next technological frontier will be indeed.