Apple Core


What is even the point of AI "suggestions"?


The piece published by Sean O'Kane (Apple still hasn't fixed Siri's biggest problem) is very interesting and thought-provoking IMO.

I didn't see Apple's keynote, but what Sean described about their efforts with Siri seems strange. Instead of making strides into voice recognition, language processing and actually doing or answering stuff you ask it for, Apple seems to focus its "AI" and "machine learning" on "learning how you're using your device" (Fredirighi), by putting Siri everywhere and make suggestions based on your usage front, left and center.

For me, this begs the question: what the hell is even the point of all this suggesting? Is it really that useful? My take is that I don't want an AI assistant to make suggestions about what I might want to do or say, but rather have it understand me when I'm talking to it and get the shit done for me I actively ask it for.

As you might see, both are totally different use cases of a smart assistant. Different approaches as to what an assistant should do, what it's good for. And IMO, Apple got its efforts totally wrong this time. One could even go as far as to say Siri doesn't even try to compete with Google Assistant or Alexa, since it's focusing on different use cases. This is all the more interesting since the latest narrative around Apple's AI efforts are said to "focus on privacy" instead of "selling your data" like those of bad Google and Amazon. "Machine learning" is even said to happen locally on the phone with a dedicated chip. Sounds cool? Nope. For me, it just sounds like Apple's vision for machine learning and AI means Siri is learning how you use your phone to stick "intelligent" suggestions into your face instead of being intelligent about the outside world that goes beyond the user.

Dear Siri, I don't want any of your stupid suggestions. People change their opinions and habits, they evolve, they like learning something new. They're curious. With this, their device usage, what apps they're using, what stuff they're reading, what music they're​ listening to, will also change over time. And that is good. Nobody is a constant. So basically instead of wasting time with learning my past habits, make me smarter and assist me with doing and answering things for me.

Reticulating poll splines...