June 18, 2019 | 68° F

Appreciate benefits of iPhone technology


As technology matures — which it seems to be doing constantly these days — our way of life changes. Sometimes, these changes are radical, or at least potentially so. For example, meet Siri, the artificial intelligence (AI) program built into Apple’s new iPhone 4S. Siri is essentially a personal assistant. Users speak to it, it interprets their words using speech recognition technology, and then it attends to their requests. But Siri is more than just voice-recognition technology. It’s far more lifelike than most of the AI’s that consumers have been saddled with in the past. Siri actually grows and responds to its users. According to Apple, it can grow accustomed to users’ specific speech patterns, thereby learning to better interpret their words and make fewer mistakes. Siri also talks back to users — and it can have quite an attitude, according to some reviews. All in all, Siri is like having a little person inside of your iPhone, as creepy as that sounds.

But once you get over the initial shock and Terminator references — i.e., Skynet is here, come with me if you want to live, etc. — we guarantee you’ll find yourself utterly enthralled by what Siri can do. Detractors of Siri are quick to make the claim that such a program makes us lazier or prevents us from thinking. When you get down to it, however, Siri handles the dry work — finding restaurants, checking the weather, reminding you about your appointments, etc. This means that Siri actually frees users up to think more about things and specifically, more important things. Rather than jumping on Google to, say, find a good hotel, we can now let Siri search for us while we entertain possible cures for cancer. That example is admittedly a little extreme, but we feel it illustrates a good point about Siri. With its help, we no longer have to spend valuable time and energy tackling the mundane.

The goal of all technological advances should be to make life easier and more enjoyable for people. Siri meets that goal head-on, so why worry about possible machine rebellions or supposed laziness? Such things are ultimately non-issues. Siri’s benefits far outweigh any detrimental aspects it may have, and we cannot wait to see this technology evolve further. Perhaps one day, everyone will have their own smartphone-turned-personal assistant.

By The Daily Targum

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