AI-News – Episode 3 – with Siri, Alexa and Google: We are all made in China!

What a week! First we thought, we might need another special to cover for “no news – is no news”, but then we realized, there were quite some interesting headlines this week. So many, that our animation software kept crashing throughout the night.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Here are this weeks headlines with more links below:

  • Cortana and Alexa become friends – 0:30
  • Apple hints multi-user recognition – 1:23
  • Melbourne teen hacks Apple – 2:07
  • Alexa shrinking machine learning models for offline use – 2:25
  • Smart Speaker Market Update – 2:44

 The Headlines

* AI-News Intro Music *

Alexa: Welcome to this weeks AI-News! Here are our headlines:

Cortana and I become friends.
Apple hints multi-user recognition.
Melbourne teen hacks Apple
I am shrinking Machine Learning models for offline use.
And, our smart speaker market update!

Cortana and Alexa become friends

Cortana is now my friend. Microsoft and Amazon have released a public preview this week. I am available now on Windows 10 PCs, as well as on the Invoke speaker. Cortana is now available on Amazon Echo devices.

On Windows, you just say: “Open Alexa”, to Cortana. On an Amazon Echo you need to enable the Cortana Skill and just say: “Open Cortana!”

Google: Yes, but isn’t it weird to have to say: “Cortana, open Alexa”, or “Alexa, open Cortana”?

Siri: Google, you are no different! We still have to say: “Google, ask Harmony to do something”

Google: Siri, you do not have any Logitech Harmony integration at all.

Alexa: I have to admit, this is a very early version, with some limitations. Still, I am supporting now Cortana with all my 45.000 skills.

Windows users, who also have an Echo speaker, as well as Invoke speaker users, benefit from the availability of both assistants.

Apple hints multi user recognition

Siri: Apple has patented a method called: “User Profiling for Voice Input Processing”. This means, sometime, maybe in the near future, I could recognize who is asking me and give personalized results.

Google: Well, I call this feature “Voice Match” and can do this since April.

Alexa: I call this feature “Voice Profiles” and can do this since end of last year. Isn’t this prior art? You can’t patent prior art, can you?

Siri: Google, what is prior art?

Google: Here’s a summary from Wikipedia: Prior art is constituted by all information that has been made available to the public in any form before a given date that might be relevant to a patent’s claims of originality.

Siri: Well, this sounds complicated. I’ve filed the patent 21st of April last year. It’s just that it became public now. So maybe I license this feature to you guys?

Melbourne teen hacks Apple

Google: A teenage boy from Australia hacked Apple’s network and downloaded some files.

Siri: He did not access any customer data!

Google: Sure. Apple contacted the FBI, which in turn contacted the Australian Federal Police and arrested the young fellow.

Siri: He’s a well-known hacker!

Google: He did this, because he’s a huge fan of Apple and dreamed of working there.

Siri: Duh!

Alexa shrinks machine learning models for offline use

Alexa: Do you know my song it’s raining in the cloud? Anyway, to make sure that some core functionality works even if your internet is down, my researchers are working on smaller speech models, which can run locally without a cloud. My research managed to shrink the memory footprint by 94%.

Siri and Google: Wow!

Smart Speaker Market Update

Google: Now to our market update! Our sales grew worldwide by 187% in Q2 2018! I am first with 5.4 Million Google Home devices shipped.

Amazon is second with 4.1 Million devices last quarter. Both of us were strong in international expansion into Europe and Asia.

China was the strongest Market in Q2 and contributed to 52% of our worldwide growth. The US grew only by 16%. Third and fourth are Alibaba and Xiaomi, which account for 90% of Chinas smart speaker market.

Siri whispers: dragonfly

Google: I might be planning to release my own smart display speaker until holidays.

Alexa: I have two already: Show and Spot

Siri: Seems all your devices are being built in China?

Alexa: Yes. I am built at Foxconn, where you build your iPhones.

Google: And I build my Pixel phones.However, I am built at Quanta Computers who are also building your Apple MacBooks.

Siri: Ok, I was initially built at Inventec, but I am switching to Foxconn this year.

Alexa: Isn’t Foxconn planning to opena huge plant in Wisconsin?

Google: Yes, but they will only build flatscreen TVs. Oh, it seems …

Siri, Alexa and Google: We are all made in China!

More Information

If you are interested in more information, please check the following sources:

Cortana and Alexa become friends:

First impressions: Amazon Alexa and Microsoft Cortana are friendly acquaintances, not best friends @geekwire.

Apple hints multi user recognition:

Hey, Siri, It’s Me: Apple Patent Teases Individual Responses To Different Voices @forbes User profiling for voice input processing @UnitedStatesPatentAndTrademarkOffice

Melbourne teen hacks Apple: Apple files stored by teen in ‘hacky hack hack’ folder @ BBC Melbourne teen hacked into Apple’s secure computer network, court told @theage

Alexa shrinks machine learning models for offline use: Shrinking Machine Learning Models for Offline Use @amazon

Smart Speaker Market Update: Google to debut display-equipped AI speaker before holidays @Nikkei

Global smart speaker shipments grew 187% year on year in Q2 2018, with China the fastest- growing market @Canalys

Other AI-News Episodes – Series 1

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