Is Siri Is a Google Killer ?

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  • #1
rhody
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http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericjackson/2011/10/28/why-siri-is-a-google-killer/" [Broken]
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...QgbQM&usg=AFQjCNFRGUytx-fS6rrtOQAnRXd-P9g1iA" is the best voice rec app ever — and it’s still in “beta.” and, it has a personality which makes the app addictive because we start to feel over time that we truly have a personal assistant who is our friend.

and

It’s true Google has experience in the voice rec space and doing some simple voice apps but they do not have the personality and AI of Siri and that will be very difficult to copy — especially for a company that doesn’t sit at the intersection of the humanities and technology.

and

the biggest advantage over any other voice application out there today, and the apps still to be developed, is the massive data Siri is now and will continue to collect in the next 2 years. We know after the first weekend alone, there were 4 million Siri-enabled devices out there probably collecting 1 – 2 utterances a day worth of data — all being stored in Apple’s massive North Carolina data center. All that data will allow Siri to get better and better.

and

Ultimately, Siri is intended to be a Google killer. It won’t happen overnight. Research in Motion didn’t collapse after the iPhone was released in January 2007. In fact, RIM hit all-time highs 18 months afteUltimately, Siri is intended to be a Google killer. It won’t happen overnight. Research in Motion didn’t collapse after the iPhone was released in January 2007. In fact, RIM hit all-time highs 18 months after iPhone’s introduction. It’s only now — 4.5 years after its introduction — that we see how iPhone caused RIM’s slow-motion car crashr iPhone’s introduction. It’s only now — 4.5 years after its introduction — that we see how iPhone caused RIM’s slow-motion car crash
It appears Apple's claim that consumers will prefer a friendly assistant with voice interface to a keyboard. Based on their track record, to dismiss that claim would be foolhardy, IMHO.

From the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siri_(software)#DARPA_involvement":
Siri is a spin-out from the SRI International Artificial Intelligence Center, and is an offshoot of the DARPA-funded CALO project, described as perhaps the largest artificial-intelligence project ever launched
Rhody...
 
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  • #2
Ryan_m_b
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It wouldn't surprise me. Personally I see Siri as yet another example of Apple taking an old idea and finally turning it into a household product. This time it's natural language operating systems. As Siri becomes more capable thanks to the data that Apple are getting and working on I can easily see natural language digital assistants becoming commonplace. Who wouldn't want to tell something what to do or ask it a question rather than fighting with a sometimes inept user interface?

What interests me the most is the potential for Siri and other such programs to work as an answers engine. A few years ago I read a New Scientist article which showed a program designed to read text or listen to speech and then summarise the key points and themes. Considering that right now on the one side of me I have a stack of papers that I've read and on the other a bigger stack of things still to read I can't help but wish that one day I could say to my computer "Siri summarise the field of X, particularly I want to know the roles that Y has played in the development of the treatment of X2" and get an aesthetically personalised, thorough review article as an answer.

For me something like that, a competent answers engine that finds relevant information and uses that to construct a detailed answer rather than just presenting you with a long list of possibly relevant information (and boasting about how many microseconds it took it) would be a google killer.
 
  • #3
Dembadon
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I've seen so many "<insert company here> killers," especially in the video game industry, that the phrase is almost meaningless to me now. Rarely has a huge company been overthrown (Blizzard Entertainment comes to mind) even when year after year there are games coming out that are supposed to "kill" it. I don't know what it is, but it just never seems to happen.

Granted, I'm young, so some of you will probably be able to find some counterexamples.
 
  • #4
Ryan_m_b
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I've seen so many "<insert company here> killers," especially in the video game industry, that the phrase is almost meaningless to me now.
I agree with you in that sense but I think the word is being used in different contexts. In something like the gaming industry a <company/game> killer is used to refer to a new company/game whose popularity will exceed that of an old one and usher in a new paradigm where everything is based on it rather than the old game. For example, I have no idea how many times I heard the term Halo killer in my teens but essentially its a great example of how a game like Halo was really popular and radically changed how future games were developed (it pretty much defined the genre from there on).

In other settings something being a <name>killer is any product that does the job of a former product in a far better and usually unique way. From that point on there is no reason to continue using the old product because now it is obsolete.

To summarise: the former is an example of taste/fashion/fadism whereas the latter is a much more measurable thing. I.e. we could spend hours arguing about what the best game is and why but it would boil down to our personal tastes whereas if we both need job X done we could measure whether or not product Y or product Y-killer does the job best.
 
  • #5
Dembadon
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I agree with you in that sense but I think the word is being used in different contexts. In something like the gaming industry a <company/game> killer is used to refer to a new company/game whose popularity will exceed that of an old one and usher in a new paradigm where everything is based on it rather than the old game. For example, I have no idea how many times I heard the term Halo killer in my teens but essentially its a great example of how a game like Halo was really popular and radically changed how future games were developed (it pretty much defined the genre from there on).

In other settings something being a <name>killer is any product that does the job of a former product in a far better and usually unique way. From that point on there is no reason to continue using the old product because now it is obsolete.
That's a good distinction to make, and I agree.
 
  • #6
Evo
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It has no appeal for me. I don't see how a *voice* is going to make it a better search engine.
 
  • #7
rhody
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It has no appeal for me. I don't see how a *voice* is going to make it a better search engine.
I suspect there is one giant farm of supercomputers behind the scenes and the services they will provide will astound you. Not sure yet. It is just a guess on my part. I am sure folks at Apple have a thing or two up their sleeves. They allude to the assistant getting better and better in the article, through a back end similar to what I just proposed.

Rhody...
 
  • #8
Evo
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I suspect there is one giant farm of supercomputers behind the scenes and the services they will provide will astound you. Not sure yet. It is just a guess on my part. I am sure folks at Apple have a thing or two up their sleeves. They allude to the assistant getting better and better in the article, through a back end similar to what I just proposed.

Rhody...
I don't know how my extremely random searches could give them any clue as to what I consider a good result.

It's like yahoo tried to change their e-mail format to be more like g-mail and the users revolted. As was oft repeated, yahoo mail users use it BECAUSE it's not like g-mail. Yahoo dropped the mandatory switch and just left the new format as an option.

BING was going to kill google.
 
  • #9
Ryan_m_b
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I think the thing about Siri is that it represents something different. It's aim is to not be a piece of voice command software but to be an intelligent agent. The "threat to google" idea comes from the potential of Siri (or something like/descended from it) to replace typing things into google as a primary source of finding information on the internet.

Whereas in the present if you want to find something out you type key terms into google, select one of the best options and start reading the principle behind Siri is to make it a more natural process. You just ask a question, as you would to another human and get an answer. Siri itself probably isn't going to dent google but don't mistake it to be a gimmick or just another piece of voice command software in a phone! Siri is (potentially) the first step in a big change to how future user interfaces will work.
 
  • #10
Pythagorean
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Haha, no, I'm sorry, you won't bring down Google. Just as a business model, they have an extremely low burn rate and lots of capital. They have all the time in the world to experiment and many, many developers/programmers/software engineers would prefer to work for Google for much less, simply because of their openness policies (and especially considering their new privacy policies). Google can be very picky about their employees while still paying them "nothing". Google stock is on the up and their outlooks are generally positive (just ask google.com, google 'goog' :P and follow the news stories.)

A closed-source philosophy like Apple utilizes will keep Apple strong for a long time (especially on the portion of public that is not tech-savvy), but it will never give them the power of human resources and ingenuity that the open-source community allows for. It takes a lot of effort to and resources to keep something like that going, because you have to protect everything (and a lot of the time, the protection fail anyway: see "jailbreaking the iphone")

These two software industry models are fundamentally different and while there is some overlap, are not really competing for the same market of people, but where they do, I think Google takes it.
 
  • #11
Ryan_m_b
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Haha, no, I'm sorry, you won't bring down Google.
My take on this is less of "will Apple bring down google?" and more "does software such as Siri have the potential in the future to change how we use the web in a way that is fundamentally different to the search engine paradigm of today?"
 
  • #12
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Haha, no, I'm sorry, you won't bring down Google.
I agree. But in reading this thread I get the idea that the posters are referring to Google's share in the telecommunications industry specifically. Personally, I love iPhones and everything to do with them. I have an iPhone and I can't imagine getting a different phone. That being said, a voice assistant doesn't appeal to me too much. But with all of the information they are receiving Siri will just get exponentially better, so who knows.
 
  • #13
Evo
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Oh good grief, this is just a phone app? I only read the blurb Rhody posted, so assumed it was going to be a web search engine.
 
  • #14
Borg
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Oh good grief, this is just a phone app? I only read the blurb Rhody posted, so assumed it was going to be a web search engine.
I guess that makes Google a Sirial Killer?
 
  • #15
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Oh good grief, this is just a phone app? I only read the blurb Rhody posted, so assumed it was going to be a web search engine.
It searches the web for you. It sets alarms, reminders, important dates. It can find any local establishments for you, write texts, emails, whatever you want it to do pretty much.
 
  • #16
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I guess that makes Google a Sirial Killer?
:rofl:

You were waiting to drop that line weren't you?
 
  • #17
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I doubt anything can kill Google. They have the assets to adapt too quickly for anyone to really get a real control of a market before Google can at least get into it and compete (and no one really competes with Google -- they just lose).

Anyway, Google already has a form of NLP, it just uses text rather than sound. It wouldn't be hard for a company like Google to make a way to convert sound to text (Nuance did it). And once they've done that, they're on a level playing field.
 
  • #18
Pythagorean
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Google's search engine utilizes graph theory through page-linking (as the edges) and the webpages (as the nodes). It's a very simple, but novel idea. Nobody has even come close to trumping that idea yet, but lots of people are trying and marketing their search engine ideas (Microsoft's Bing was the latest failure).

Siri isn't utilizing a new idea (natural language interactivity in AI) but they're more successful than others at implementing it. And I agree, it's a good idea, but it's more on the user-interaction side than the functionality side.

Google's user interaction philosophy is simplicity; When you go to Google all you get is their logo, the search bare, and two buttons. Everything else is cleverly disguised in the algorithm of how your words are interpreted. This is another strong point of google's; the way they maintain simplicity for the user.
 
  • #19
rhody
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the way they maintain simplicity for the user.
Ditto, the same way Apple does it, simple and intuitive is always best. Funny, coming from someone who doesn't really like them, isn't it ?

Rhody...
 
  • #20
Borg
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I haven't had the opportunity to experiment with Siri but the odd answers that I've seen posted remind me a lot of the http://www.cleverbot.com/" [Broken] program.
 
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  • #21
Evo
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It searches the web for you. It sets alarms, reminders, important dates. It can find any local establishments for you, write texts, emails, whatever you want it to do pretty much.
So can I.
 
  • #22
rhody
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It searches the web for you. It sets alarms, reminders, important dates. It can find any local establishments for you, write texts, emails, whatever you want it to do pretty much.
So can I.
Let's face it Evo, just like your virtual boyfriend, it wants to know you so well it can convince others that the "virtual you" is in fact the "real you". Scary thought, huh ? Other people or Siri itself could then project virtual Evo as the real deal.

Rhody...
 
  • #23
Evo
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Let's face it Evo, just like your virtual boyfriend, it wants to know you so well it can convince others that the "virtual you" is in fact the "real you". Scary thought, huh ? Other people or Siri itself could then project virtual Evo as the real deal.

Rhody...
I can't be the only person left that thinks if it's worth doing, it's worth doing yourself. Also, you do have to tell it those important dates, those meetings, etc... it's not psychic.
 
  • #24
atyy
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  • #25
Pythagorean
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Ditto, the same way Apple does it, simple and intuitive is always best. Funny, coming from someone who doesn't really like them, isn't it ?

Rhody...
I use both OSX and Windows a lot with a little Linux exposure. I get frustrated with OSX a lot because I feel like it should integrate better over the network with Linux (after all, OSX is based on unix now and can run terminal!) but I've found so far, that linux-windows integration goes much smoother for most of my applications (scientific computing) than either osx-windows or osx-linux.
 

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