[title not needed]
tip tap on the phone?!
Hackers say they've reverse engineered the Siri personal assistant that debuted in last month's release of the iPhone 4S, a feat that allows them to make it work from virtually any device. To back up their claim, the hackers – from the mobile-application developer Applidium – released a collection of tools on Monday that they …
"Interestingly, Siri sends a huge amount of data to the Apple server"
I thought this would be expected. It's clearly going to send all you location data in order to find the nearest pizza joint or whatnot along with who knows what else. Clearly it has to read your messages, calendar and contacts but does it secretly send all that stuff back to the mother ship?
If you speak Swahili, Apple's secret is out.
While Siri is a 'killer app', and I find it entertaining, cute, and even useful, it's pretty disappointing, and somewhat 'cheating' if you use a big chunk of iron in the cloud to decipher every word, making the iPhone the 21st. century equivalent of a dumb terminal. At least on Android devices I think the interpretation is done locally on the device when using speech recognition.
Voice recognition isn't really what Siri and the like are doing. VR is typically used to activate one of a relatively small set of commands using simple, fixed-form spoken triggers - as in voice dialing, for example.
Speech-based assistant apps have to do speech-to-text (or at any rate speech-to-word-token), which is orders of magnitude more expensive than VR. Then they have to do natural-language parsing, topic identification, etc.
So you're right, and using the phone as a terminal in this case is an appropriate allocation of resources.
It's so magical.. And Siri can talk back like a real person..
Think of the enhancement to objectophiles when the object of their love can talk to them. If Steve hadn't given them freedom from porn, there could be a whole range of special inflatable personal docking options..
Gimmick? Absolutely, and nothing new to be honest. A few typical phrases for maintaining the illusion, a few stock replies to common "funny questions", and the deal is done.
I'm with you on this one. I can't see how its a great feat for freedom and openness when someone hacks a companies intellectual property and gives it away. The said company will have invested time, effort and money to deliver Siri to help distinguish the iPhone 4S from the other smart phones.
What has happened here is just theft, plain and simple. If they are so bleeding cleaver why can't they write their own version?
And before you start, I don't have an iPhone 4S.
Untwist your knickers. Reverse engineering a publicly available unencrypted unsigned API not covered by licence agreements or terms of service is not theft and it's not hacking. Intellectual property has not been compromised, secrets have not been stolen.
The loss to Apple amounts to capacity (server, bandwidth, etc). Apple can quickly implement measures to protect the API if they want. We can probably expect that they'll swiftly make it available only to iPads and iPhones.
As for it appearing in other iDevice apps, they won't get through the approval process until such use is legitimised. It's reasonable to expect that's coming, along with an SDK, as it will only help sales of the devices
Apple didn't develop Siri. The tech was developed elsewhere and bought out by Apple in 2010 to prevent the app from going cross platform.
Of course it is still wrong to hack the tech and it does cheapen Apple's investment, but the main thrust of this is to prove that you don't need a 'magical' iPhone4S to use the product as Apple would have you believe. All the 'magic' happens upstream on a big box and the iPhone is simply a dumb delivery device for the sampled voice data.
Siri is damn impressive but to my mind it isn't the revolutionary product Apple have spun it into. It's consistently reliable and I am often pleasently surprised by how good it is at transcribing information. I haven't set an alarm, timer or reminder using anything other than Siri since I've had the 4S but it hasn't exactly fundamentally changed my life like the ads might suggest.
.. just how much of what you use Siri for gets added to your profile with Apple? I have enough trouble keeping numpties with mobiles out of secured rooms, I dread to think just how much more data they are now supplying to Apple. Must check if there's a way to kill off Siri (already done it for iCloud)..
I'm astonished as to which length phone makers are prepared to go to grab data. Google announced in Canada that the reason they no longer needed WiFi snooping with Streetview was that the Android handsets were now doing it, and forces people to hook unto a Google account for anything interesting in Android to work. Apple is now goading people into using iMessage ("gimme your SMS traffic" - on a global scale) and Siri ("tell me what you're doing, with your voice print, thanks") on top of grabbing customer details via iCloud.
And our poor, trusty users walk right into this, whilst loudly whinging about Facebook privacy.
Amazing. Truly amazing.
Anyone any idea what Microsoft/Nokia are planning on this front? The NSA needs all the help it can get..
"They eventually found that the body of such requests is little more than a binary plist whose contents can be deciphered using the Mac OS X plutil tool."
I expect that this will change with the release of these set of tools. Apple are unlikely to tolerate this and will insert a more robust method of identifying a genuine handset.
Fail icon because this evolutionary arms race is not over yet.
People dismissing Siri don't really understand what an immense computing problem NLP is. Scientists have spent decades trying to come up with a system where humans can converse with a computer in the same way that they would another person. And they've mostly failed.
The fact that Siri is the best consumer-grade speech recognition technology around, and it still falls over, it still can't get things right a lot of the time and it still misinterprets things is evidence that this still has a very long way to go.
It may be easier to put a man on Mars than it is to develop a 100% perfect speech recognition system.
Which doubtless is tied to your iShop account and every single other thing you do.
All silo'd within Apple for certain.
And how transparent is this process made to the end user? How clearly and unambiguously is this behaviour outlined to them so that they may make an informed choice on opt-out?
Oh. Optout probably renders your jesus-thing useless for most of its 'popular' functionality.
Once enough people are interested, it's only a matter of time until somebody(or some group) manages to spoof AppleID's.
Then there will be a lot of people playing with Siri on their el-chepo Android handsets.
And even the much vaunted icloud may be up for grabs - even though it's kind of redundant on WP or Android devices, what it does is nothing new. But it may be nice for those people who have ipads and android handsets to have the ability to sync stuff through it.