Megan Carpentier of Raw Story recently noted that Siri is having trouble telling users where to find abortion clinics, and not about abortion clinics in the middle of the Bible Belt, or in the frozen tundra of Alaska. We’re talking about places like New York City and Washington D.C. which, as you can imagine, might have a few of these places. We wanted to test this theory out. Maybe Siri just isn’t a fan of Megan’s? Or maybe Siri is being moody.
Know what we found?
AI Phone Home
Jordan Mechner, creator of the wildly-popular Prince of Persia video game, had a rather genius idea this week.
“Since I got my iPhone 4S, I’ve been intrigued, fascinated and alarmed by Siri’s fast-growing capabilities. I thought it would make sense to introduce her to my psychotherapist, Eliza,” Mr. Mechner blogged.
AI historians know Eliza better as a computer program, written by MIT’s Joseph Weizenbaum in the mid-60′s, that was one of the first examples of natural language processing. True obsessives would also note that Eliza failed the Turing Test, which means it isn’t actually artificially intelligent. Rather it uses pattern-recognition to processes users responses to scripts, most famously DOCTOR, which simulates a Rogerian pyschotherapist. (Guess Freud fell out of favor in the 60s?)
The Tao of Steve
Business Insider put up a post today introducing folks to Wolfram Alpha, the “mind-blowing intelligence service that powers Siri.” How quickly the kids forget!
Wolfram Alpha actually went live back in 2009, and roughly oh about 98.7 percent of the press at the time had some version of WOLFRAM ALPHA: GOOGLE KILLER WHA??!!!. That’s because Wolfram Alpha bypassed scanning keywords for natural language search.This was before Ashton Kutcher invested in Blekko, before Steve Ballmer even previewed Bing online.
Apple in Your Eye
Artist and programmer Andy Baio wrote a post today that is kind of blowing our minds. It’s a promo video for Apple’s Knowledge Navigator. The striking thing? It presages almost all the developments Apple has brought to mobile computing in the last few years.
In fact, according to Mr. Baio, the video predicted that a mobile computing product (much-like the one released today)–a touch-enabled computer with a voice assistant and Facetime–would become a reality in September 16 of 2011, just one month off from today’s announcement.
Just how far ahead is Apple really planning things…