Skip to main content

Iris may be no Siri, but that's not saying much

Iris was a response to Siri, created during an eight hour "hackathon" at Dexetra, the creators of Iris. It's available on the Android Marketplace.

I installed Iris and decided to have a little fun with it. And in return I guess Iris decided to have a little fun with me.

I tried to ask it two questions:
  1. Who is Matthew Robertson
  2. Who is Kirk Tuck
It missed both. I can see how it missed identifying Matthew with such an unbounded question, but it missed identifying Kirk by a country mile. Apparentely I have an accent (must be my Scottish ancestry). Iris kept confusing 'Tuck' with 'Talk', with the amusing results you see.

While Siri is still in beta, Iris is definitely in alpha. While I've only shown a few questions, Iris, when you're careful what you ask, is surprisingly good at finding answers (which, come to think if it, is the way most flesh-and-blood people are as well).

I wonder if Iris is capable of passing the Turing test in its current state. The answer is probably no, but then I know a lot of flesh-and-blood people who couldn't pass it either.

The foundation for building verbal assistants such as Iris already exists on Android. It's just a matter of mashing up the various bits to create something useful. This is one reason why I like Android. It's the 21st century digital equivalent of those old electronic learning labs I had when I was a kid. The Android platform contains a rich environment of services and functionality for writing just about anything.

Comments

  1. So of course I had to try this.

    Asking Siri about my own name was too easy, it just pulled up my own information from my contacts. I then told it to search for Matthew Robertson on the web, which brought me straight to the search results page in Google. No surprises there.

    Asking "Who is Bill Beebe" stressed it a little more, because that's not an exact match to the information that I have in my Contacts. So instead it returned three partial matches, and then asked me which one was correct. Not bad.

    But there was nothing, absolutely nothing, that I could do to make Siri hear "Tuck" instead of "Talk". I care-ful-ly anun-ci-ated, changed emphasis and speeds, tried different context: I just got back "I don't understand 'Talk in the sheets'." All I could do was spell out TUCK, which was no problem, and search Google that way.

    Using Siri still feels a bit like the talking dog: I'm amazed that it can do anything, even when it gets a lot of it wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  2. And so I went back and asked "Who is Bill Beebe" and it went looking for "Who is Bill Baby". I tried three times and it only got it right once.

    Then I asked Iris to call my wife. After four attempts I just gave up after it came back and said repeatedly "Call who?"

    Yes, Iris is alpha-level software and definitely needs more work.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

All comments are checked. Comment SPAM will be blocked and deleted.

Popular posts from this blog

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…

vm networking problem fixed

Over the weekend I upgraded to Windows 8.1, then discovered that networking for the virtual machines wouldn't work. Then I tried something incredibly simple and fixed the problem.

Checking the system I noticed that three VMware Windows services weren't running; VMnetDHCP, VMUSBArbService, and VMwareNatService. VMware Player allows you to install, remove, or fix an existing installation. I chose to try fixing the installation, and that fixed the problem. The services were re-installed/restarted, and the virtual machines had networking again.

Once network connectivity was established there was exactly one updated file for Ubuntu 13.10, a data file. This underscores how solid and finished the release was this time. Every other version of every other Linux installation I've ever dealt with has always been succeeded by boatloads of updates after the initial installation. But not this time.

Everything is working properly on my notebook. All's right with the world.

sony's pivotal mirrorless move

I'm a died-in-the-wool technologist, even when it comes to photography. I have always been fascinated with the technology that goes into manufacturing any camera, from the lenses (optics) through the mechanical construction, the electronics involved, and especially the chemistry of the film and the sophistication of the digital sensor. It's amazing that the camera can do all it's asked of it, regardless of manufacturer.

Of all the types of cameras that I've really taken an interest in, contemporary mirrorless (again, regardless of manufacturer) are the most interesting because of the challenging problems the scientists and engineers have had to solve in order to build a compact but highly functional camera. In particular I've followed the sensor advances over the years and watched image quality climb (especially with μ4:3rds) to exceed film and rival one another such that there's very little difference any more as you move from the smaller sensors such as 4:3r…