Next month, when iOS 10 is released, you will notice a change in Siri’s voice. No, it’s not puberty. According to a report that cites the head of advanced development for Siri, Tom Gruber, machine learning will help Siri sound more human and less robotic.
Apple’s virtual personal assistant accesses words recorded in a database and strings them together to form sentences. And like most of these, it doesn’t always sound the best. However, it will soon get better.
Siri’s voice has become almost a trademark of Apple products, and has been used on television shows and commercials. A woman named Susan Bennett claims to be the original voice of Siri. Her voice was recorded back in July 2005 as she spoke nonsensical phrases and words. The pitch was adjusted in order to change the sound. In July of 2014, Apple moved Siri’s voice recognition to a neural net, which greatly improved the assistant’s ability to understand what is being asked by users.
“We’ve been seeing over the last five years a growth of this inside Apple. Our devices are getting so much smarter at a quicker rate, especially with our Apple design A series chips. The back ends are getting so much smarter, faster, and everything we do finds some reason to be connected. This enables more and more machine learning techniques, because there is so much stuff to learn, and it’s available to [us].”-Phil Schiller SVP worldwide marketing, Apple
So when can we hear this change in Siri? Well, the other day, Barbara Streisand complained to Apple CEO Tim Cook about the way Siri called her “Streizand.” And according to the star, Cook told her that this would be taken care of with an iOS update on September 30th. So we will see then.