Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Search Accuracy Of Siri Leaves Something To Be Desired

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The infallibility of the virtual assistant of Apple has been evaluated recently and it appears that it is much more infallible compared to the virtual assistant of Google. Piper Jaffray recently evaluated Siri in terms of performing searches and it revealed that the Apple virtual assistant feature made a mistake 38 percent of the time. In comparison, the virtual assistant of Google only had a 14 percent error rate.

It appears that the Siri feature of Apple is dependent on the voice of the user and does not find it easy to decipher regional accents or when the user is anxious. The evaluation performed by the analysts, Siri was brought to a rather busy street in Minneapolis and with all of the distractions posed by purple-wearing people Siri was able to perform the searches with 62 percent accuracy.

An improvement was noted when the questions were asked inside a room without much distractions and Siri increased its search accuracy to 68 percent.

In comparison to Siri, the virtual assistant of Siri only had an error rate of 14 percent. However it should be noted that this relatively low error rate was based on keyed-in search results.

In fairness when the user would speak in a clear voice, the virtual assistant of Apple was able to increase its accuracy to 83 percent in a noisy street while a quiet room allowed it to have an accuracy rate of 89 percent.

However some ambiguous questions would tend to confuse Siri such as the question ‘Where is Elvis buried?’ which resulted to an answer of finding a person named Elvis Buried. Perhaps the biggest goof for Apple was when the virtual assistant was asked which is the best smartphone and gave the Nokia Lumia 900 as its answer. However this was reportedly rectified by the company.

Steve Wozniak has also indicated that there were instances when Siri would rely on Wolfram Alpha more than it was supposed to do so. For the moment it relies on Google 60 percent of the time for searches.

However Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray indicated that the introduction of the iOS 6 will supposedly result to an improvement on the Siri virtual assistant of Apple. Other sources will reportedly be used by the virtual assistant as its dependence on Google will decrease to around 48 percent.

As Siri increases its exposure to the world, she will be able to learn more making her more useful for device owners who may prefer to voice out their queries instead of typing it into the device.

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