back to article Siri set to rival Windows beauty Cortana after Apple eats Novauris

Apple's personal assistant Siri is more than two years old, so you'd think it was high time for its parents to cut the umbilical cord. Now, however, fanbois' need to keep their fruity friend permanently connected to the internet could be ending after Apple bought a British firm called Novauris, which specialises in voice …

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jai
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Headmaster

However?

I'm pretty sure that "however" is not the right word for that second sentence. "However" suggests that what follows is in contradiction to the previous sentence, when instead, it seems the second sentence is confirming that it is "high time to cut the umbilical cord" by removing the need for internet access.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: However?

Cortana is apparently much more powerful than Siri, and Windows Phone is eating into Apple's market share - and is already ahead of them in a number of countries.. I guess Apple are doing their best to play catch-up...

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Facepalm

Sickening

Is it bad I keep reading that company name as "norovirus"?

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A little concerned.

I asked Siri if she was about to be replaced and she replied "no comment". Maybe I am imaging it, but she sounded sort of wistful.

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Meanwhile in other news:

Larry Page admits speech-recognition is not very good right now

http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2014/03/googles-larry-page-admits-speech-recognition-is-not-very-good-right-now/#null

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That was on the cards

since September 2013 - http://www.linkedin.com/pub/john-bridle/6/78/28b

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Scientist, Siri

Apple

September 2013 – Present (8 months)Cheltenham, UK

Working on improving Siri, Apple's automatic person assistant

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Joint Managing Director

Novauris Technologies Ltd

April 2002 – September 2013 (11 years 6 months)

CTO

Developing core speech recognition technology for voice search

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Joint Managing DIrector

Dragon Systems UK R&D Ltd

1992 – 2001 (9 years)

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Speech recognition vs providing information

Having speech recognition local may be fine when you tell your phone "set the alarm for 7:45AM tomorrow morning", but personally I tend to use it to ask questions like "when was Robert Redford born" and unless the flash storage is going to get large enough to hold Wikipedia, you're going to continue to need that internet connection!

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Re: Speech recognition vs providing information

If the phone can upload the question as text rather than audio, you won't such a fast internet connection.

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Re: Speech recognition vs providing information

I hear what you say, but when you want to do something simple handsfree, like "Call Joe Bloggs on mobile", while abroad on umpty-something quid a kilobyte data roaming charges[1], a local recog system is a "must have" unless you have very deep pockets.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. By far and away the best voice dial and other simple stuff system I have ever used was MS Voice Commander on the old WinMo platform[2]. Now, given that that was around the thick end of a decade ago and ran on hardware that took significant time to get around to twiddling its own thumbs, we're way past due for someone to do better by now.

[1] Not to mention the interminable wait for it to do its stuff over a shonky 2G connection.

[2] This even used to cope well with my mangling of non-English names, something that nothing I've tried since can handle with any degree of accuracy. Rather amusingly, it was better at getting it right than most of those systems where you had to laboriously pre-record voice tags for every contact.

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Re: Speech recognition vs providing information

http://download.wikimedia.org/enwiki/latest/enwiki-latest-pages-articles.xml.bz2

Current revisions only, no talk or user pages. (This is probably the one you want. The size of the 13 February 2014 dump is approximately 9.85 GB compressed, 44 GB uncompressed).

You can already get phones with more than enough space to hold wikipedia and it will not be long until it is fairly commonplace -- less than five years.

Just for the LOLs, maybe somebody should upload an iOS usable version to the App Store.

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Does anyone actually use these systems...

...in anger - you know, as opposed to just for fun or to see if it can recognise 'navigate to galasheils' correctly?

Not trolling, just curious!

Steven R

(PS: I noticed that Googles voice stuff has gotten *much* better recently - it previously couldn't navigate me to Bridlington at all, now I struggle to get it to make mistakes. I still don't use it though!)

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