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Is Siri an Artificial Intelligence ? (Explained in Detail!)

Gone are the days when we heard the concept of artificial intelligence in Hollywood movies or read editorials about it. Today, artificial intelligence has made access into rooms in the form of virtual or digital assistants, in our gadgets. So, now we are deeply surrounded by artificial intelligence, and its popularity and functionality are soaring by the hour, aimed to make our life much easier but the question remains, is Siri an artificial intelligence? We will learn about this below in the article soon.

Digital assistant, a second name for a virtual assistant, is an AI-based application that astonished trillions by completing tasks for the users. It has the ability to take voice commands by understanding and recognizing the natural patterns of human language. Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, is one of the most actual A.I.-based applications and can perform tasks like sending and reading e-mail or text messages, taking dictation, reminding about activities and making phone calls, etc.

So, guys, let’s dive into the article to explore everything about Siri along with the most frequently asked question: Is Siri an artificial intelligence?

What Is Artificial Intelligence (A.I.)?

Various definitions of artificial intelligence have been circulating over the last three decades. In 2004, John McCarthy stated the following definitions: “it is knowledge of science that is used for the development of intelligent machines, especially computer programs. The term A.I. is highly linked to any machine representing properties of the human mind, such as problem-solving, learning, especially from the past, and the ability to reason. But, A.I. doesn’t try to restrict itself to biologically noticeable methods”.

 Recently, A.I. can be divided into two sub-fields: machine learning and deep learning. These sub-fields contain A.I. algorithms that traditionally make classification or predictions based on input data.

Key Points

  • Artificial Intelligence has the ability to rationalize and take actions that are suitable to achieve goals.
  • It is based on the patterns of human minds, or intelligence is elaborate in a way that specified machines can easily mimic cognitive ability and perform all tasks per instructions and commands.
  • Strong A.I. has to be completed tasks that are more complex and logical, while weak A1 contains easy and simple tasks.
  • As the popularity of A.I. is increasing daily, we are witnessing its functionality across all industries, from banking, business, and health care to educational institutes.

What is Siri?

Apple’s giant technology, Siri, first appeared on the iPhone 4S, but now it is on iPods, HomePods, AirPods, Apple Watch, and the Mac, powered by artificial intelligence. This digital assistant has provided hand -free medium for performing and organizing several activities. It has changed the notion of how people interact with devices for all daily life tasks. 

Here are some essential points you might need to know about Siri

  • Siri, a name suggested by Dag Kittlaus, means “beautiful woman who guides you to victory.”
  • Almost three decades ago, Siri was co-founded by three engineers of Stanford Research Institute named: Adam Cheyer, Tom Gruber, and Dag Kittlaus. This trio built 50 early versions over the course of 20 years of this A.I.-based voice assistant. But, now, it is highly linked with Apple and always comparable with Google virtual assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.
  • The speaker can speak back and present the user’s required information on the home screen from certain apps like web searches. Apart from text messages and e-mails, it can significantly help in everyday tasks like setting alarms, reminders, timers, etc.
  • Along with artificial intelligence, it is based on Machine Learning (ML) and on-device for the proper functioning of technology.
  • No one can deny the popularity of Apple’s assistant as it is available in more than 30 counties. Certain features of Siri are limited to some countries, like movie info, dictionary, translation, calculations, showtimes, and sports statistics.

How Does Siri Work?

It is based on two primary technologies:  Natural language processing and Speech recognition.

Natural Language Processing

It is a branch of computer science and, more specifically, based on Artificial intelligence that deals with computers’ ability to understand, interpret and manipulate human language. NLP combines with computational linguistics in order to fulfill the gap between human communication and the computer’s understanding of language. 

Together, these technologies ensure that the computer processes natural human language with a complete understanding of the meaning and the writer and speaker’s sentiment and intent. The rise of computer programming languages like C, C++, Ada, Java, and many others opened doors to interact with machines and give commands for how machines, especially computers, understand and interpret language at a basic level.

You can interact with NLP through digital assistants such as Siri, Google’s assistant, voice-oriented GPS systems, speech-to-text software, and customer service chatbots. It enables computers to translate one language to another, precise large text, and respond to given commands in no time.

Categories of NLP

There are two main techniques or tasks of NLP

Syntactic Analysis

The syntax is a sub-field of linguistics that deals with sentence structure.

It refers to the arrangement of words or phrases in a sentence and the relationship between words that are represented by a “parse tree” diagram.

Semantics Analysis

As language is a polysomic, universal and ambiguous phenomenon, NLP finds it one of the most complex and challenging areas. It deals with the literal meaning of words in a sentence. It belongs to a sub-field of linguistics, philosophy, and mainly computer science.

Example: When a person tries to say: “Siri! Book a cab for me or book my appointment at sharp 9 am”. There are various items that the software needs to look at in the back-end NLP architecture.

Here are the further sub-tasks of both Syntactic and Semantic Analysis

  • Removing Stop words: Stop word Removal is one of the most significant steps in the natural language process. P.S. You can give commands to ignore words that you want to overlook. NLP filters out high-frequency words that do not contain a semantic value or add little. These words are: is, at, which, for, to, etc.
  • Text Classification: It revolves around unstructured texts. NLP understands the meaning and organizes it into predefined tags (categories). The most famous tasks of text classification include sentimental analysis (tags unstructured text by sentiment), language detection, topic modeling, and intent detection.
  • Lemmatization and Stemming: Lemmatization and stemming is the task of NLP that transform inflections (grammatical forms of words) into their root words. For example, feet into the foot, or consultant, consulting and consultants’ in to consult.
  • Part-of-speech Tagging (PoS): It is one of the essential steps of NLP, used to add and categorize parts of speech to each token in a text. Some most frequently used PoS are nouns, pronouns, verbs, conjunction, intersection, adjective, proposition, and many more. For example, customer service was not proper. In this example, PoS tagging is: Customer service: noun, was: verb, not: an adverb, proper: adjective.
  • Constituency Parsing:  Constituency Parsing is a step of syntactic analysis aimed at visualizing the entire structure of a sentence with the help of phrase structure grammar. It uses the non-terminals and abstract terminal nodes that are linked with words.
  • Named Entity Recognition (NER):  It covers the area under the umbrella term of semantic analysis. It includes the extraction of entities from a text, and entities are the places, names, organizations, and many more. It also includes relationship extraction that tries to figure out the relationship between two nouns or sometimes places. For example: “John lives in Manchester.” In this example, John is related to Manchester through the category of semantic: lives in.

Speech Recognition

In the world of artificial intelligence, speech recognition is not a secret nowadays. It is tremendously interdisciplinary in nature, and the main aim is to provide the ability of software to recognize and interpret human speech. When a person says to Siri: “Hello Siri,” the voice recognition software activates and starts recording all given commands. Then, it passes the recorded voice to that area that deals with human language processing.

Usage of Siri

Siri innovations affect all Apple’s devices, including iPods, iPhones, Apple Watches, Macs, and Apple T.V.s. After the announcement at WWDC 2017 and WWDC 2018, this voice assistant grabbed a dominant role in watchOS 4 and watchOS 5 platforms. Automobiles with Apple Car-Play also take advantage of the agent of AI, Siri, to simplify directions, listen to books and music, make calls, and send and receive text and e-mail messages.

“Hey Siri” will allow you to request or create commands from all Apple devices. When your given task is not locally handled on the device, it transforms to the Apple server along with an arbitrary identifier. With the practice of AI, Siri can deal with innovative text offers, advise web pages and recommend and discover calendar schedules, texts or e-mails. It also helps its users with responsibilities they do at a specific time of day or regularly by showing them on the lock screen.

Is Siri an Artificial Intelligence?

Is Siri an artificial intelligence?-this question is frequently asked by experts. But, it’s still unanswered and debatable as different experts have different views about it. An exact A.I. is just like a human being as it has its analytical thinking, creative thoughts and is also able to understand different slang, sarcasm, and gestures. It can work even without the commands in real-time. But, at the same time, Siri totally relies on natural language processing (NLP), machine learning, and natural language generation (NLG) to operate effectively and increase its performance with time.

Below are the arguments in order to state the answer to the question: Is Siri an Artificial Intelligence

  • Technically, Siri is not artificial intelligence, as Siri is a digital voice assistant that uses artificial intelligence. The general process of Siri is as follows: when you provide commands or ask something to Siri, the device’s microphone records and sends these words to the cloud through the internet for further processing. When the interpretation of commands is made by cloud service and software will send your related reaction back to you. So, it’s clear that if the internet service breaks for some reason, Siri can’t work anymore.
  • Some A.I. engineers and experts say that Siri is artificial intelligence. As it is an inquiry assistant with an AI-based algorithm that does a screening to deliver a result as output. It involves searching and matching user instructions from a database and giving output with a relevant response. What exactly is what A.I. does. However, it does not have learning ability, especially from past experiences. So point, when Apple adds a database, it may not have a potential A.I. agent that is able to learn the I/O relationship between the database and its nuances.
  • Siri is often considered the agent of A.I. The technology of Siri is text-to-speech and vice versa, along with speech recognition. So, this is a branch of A.I., where human language is interpreted and understood by machines, and these machines send relevant responses back. This mechanism involves the following process: Listen, think and talk. Further, A.I. is all about man-like intelligence that is far bigger than this. Thus, the answer: “is Siri an A.I.?” is no, and calling it A.I. could be wrong. But still, it all depends on the interpretation and exposure of a person to artificial intelligence.

Final Verdict

In a nutshell, A.I.-based Siri is an exceptional assistant that makes our lives thousands of times more manageable. It literally becomes your personal assistant as it gets smarter with time. The best thing is that you can customize its applications to make them more useful and friendly. There are 21 different languages in Siri, and you can choose as per your convenience. But, still, we can’t say yes to the question, “is Siri an artificial device?” with a big yes. Instead, it is a system with A.I.-based algorithms and uses A.I., not pure A.I.

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