We know what we want from artificial intelligence and home robots. No, nothing like George Jetson had. How positive 1969. What we want is human intelligence in a human robot body; anatomically correct.
Instead, Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and others have given us some very stupid AI caught in devices that just do not do anything so much beyond a few tricks on videos. No wrongdoing against Apple or the company's many competitors; AI and so-called intelligent assistants with voice recognition – technology must be complicated and difficult – but these things are as dumb as a door button (functional but does not really matter yet).
Siri! Help me! Siri?
To hear members of the technorati elite politburo tell it, artificial intelligence is already around us. Well, maybe it's true if you consider the inhabitants of the White House and Congress. Otherwise, I do not see much real intelligence in the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Watch or Apple TV, let alone all the competitors who apparently make AI better than Apple.
My father is from Texas and my mother from Florida and has their respective regional accents on the sleeves. I grew up in Nevada, but lived in San Francisco from college age, and Siri understands my mixed speech patterns perfectly, thanks to my overall American accent, no matter what it is. Siri is reading me well. But not mom and dad. I can only imagine the problems people from the deep south or east coast or Scotland have with Siri, Alexa, Cortana and their ilk.
There is one thing to understand what is spoken, but there is something else to do an appropriate action based on a command, and these embedded AI voice bots still have problems. All they do is a trick that the others do not, but everyone is relatively dumb and not really thinking as much as they answer . My parents have a dog and it can do more tricks than Siri, including some Siri just not.
Fido is not so good in math, can not read my iPhone calendar, can not send e-mail or text, and it's all the continued diet with the vet and dog food, but put up i'm not sure the parents dog can be cheaper.
In product marketing, differentiation is a key component for success. The IPhone was highly differentiated from competitors with a large screen and user-friendly navigation system. Apps became something, but not much has changed since Siri came on stage with the iPhone 4s years ago. Siri can call from a voice command, but I had the same functionality on a Sony phone a few decades ago.
Yet, some differences are apparent among Siri's competitors, including Amazon, which now has a voice-activated Echo device that listens to you all the time (nothing to go wrong) and a camera echo that can take snapshots of what you're wearing (it's actually scary for certified adults, but who knows about a younger generation), and the Echo Show that's like an iPad and FaceTime or Skype because it's just sitting there and working like Alexa, but with a built-in camera and a touchscreen. Amazon receives applause and kudos for a device priced at $ 100 less than a new iPad that makes at least $ 1000.
All these AI digital personal assistants are more digital than anything else resembling an assistant. They are not entirely personal because they can not even recognize like asking the question or issuing a command. They do not help much because in many cases it takes longer to repeat the request or query than it does to touch the touch screen and do it in the old-fashioned manner. With your fingers. Siri is good at calling me on my iPhone, but my Sony mobile phone from last century can do it.
We all know what we want. An anatomically correct robot that differs from a human being, but maybe better to voice and remember what politicians say. Until that happens, Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Google Assistant (the company just can not come up with a human name) and all their bot-like friends are not very smart.
We could use some revolutionary AI evolution, and if Siri and her friends are the beginning, we have a long way to go.