Siri: A Powerful Way To Navigate The Computer
The assistants for the devices we use daily are no news. They can help us in many ways and are mostly controlled over voice commands. The importance of Siri in the Apple universe is crucial to understand why Apple is one of the friendliest brands for those who have vision imparities. Read on and find out everything you need to know about Siri.
The year was 2010 and the iPhone 4s was to be released and Siri was an app developed by SRI International with a speech recognition technology and engine provided by Nuance Communications (remember Ray Kurzweil? Nuance Communications bought the technology he originally invented). The voice assistance app was released to the iOS market in February of 2010 and two months later it was purchased by Apple. They featured in their iPhone 4S as a standard feature in October 2011 and has been a standard feature in every iDevice ever since. The voice of the actors (American, Australian and British) were recorded many years before (2005) that without them knowing what they will be used on. Today, they are probably some of the most-heard voices in the planet.
There were mixed reviews once Siri hit the market with iPhone 4s. Some media like The New York Times stated that the software was amazing in its capabilities and voice recognition. Also, specialized media like TechCrunch praised the voice recognition and the potential that it had to be further expanded in the future. Although that was the case with most media, some users reported that they had a hard time trying to make Siri understand complex indications or compound orders from the users. Also, some British users and others with a strong accent, had lots of problems to have Siri sort out what they were trying to say and follow their commands.
Besides these mixed reviews, some users claimed that the information about places nearby for some topics were deliberately shortened or misdirected. For example, some pro-choice abortion organizations criticized Apple because Siri wouldn´t show information about abortion providers and birth control facilities nearby but would instead take them to pro-life institutions like crisis pregnancy centers. This was a major accusation, because it didn´t mean that Siri was inaccurate because it was a faulty software but meant that it was programmed to act that way.
Although Apple has also the VoiceOver help feature that allows the use of the iDevices by people with visual imparity, the Siri feature goes way beyond allowing people to command their phones without any kind of. Siri is another step towards visual imparity autonomy and hence, a very welcome step by a major corporation into a future with enhanced equity.
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