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Siri is a better polyglot than Cortana and Google Now

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Siri vs Cortana vs Google Now

Regardless of whether you’re on iOS, Android, or Windows Phone, many of the latest mobile devices offer intelligent personal assistants that can help their users in a variety of ways. But is one personal assistant better than the others? A definitive answer to that question may be a bit difficult to find, but what we do know for certain is that Apple’s Siri is a better polyglot than Microsoft’s Cortana and Google’s Google Now. The folks over at VentureBeat recently decided to put the three personal assistants to the test by asking them 18 questions in five different languages and scoring them based on how fast and accurate their response was. As it turns out, Siri is better at answering questions not only in English, but also in French, Italian, German, and Mandarin.

The first test consisted of English questions where Siri scored an impressive 14.5/18 while Cortana and Google Now only managed 12.5 and 11.5, respectively. The difference is not that huge all things considered, however, the same cannot be said in regards to some of the other languages. When it comes to Italian for example, Siri did not disappoint and scored a 14.5/18 yet again. By comparison, Google Now only managed an 8.5/18 this time around and Cortana scored even lower with 6/18. The results for German and French were pretty similar to those in Italian, which meant that Mandarin would  have to decide a winner. And it did.

Continuing her impressive winning streak, Siri was able to score a not too shabby 13.5/18, which proves that the language barrier can easily be surpassed if you’re using an iOS device. Meanwhile, Cortana scored only a 5/18 in Mandarin, but that’s still not as bad as Google Now’s 1.5/18. All in all, the test reveals that when it comes to multi-language accuracy, Siri is reliable 76% percent of the time while Google Now can only claim the same 46% of the time and Cortana only 42%.

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Although George has many hobbies, he likes nothing more than to play around with cameras and other photography equipment.

Android

Airchat, developed by Naval Ravikant, is a social application that focuses on conversation rather than written messages

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Airchat is a recently developed social media application that promotes and encourages users to engage in open and spontaneous conversations.

Last year, a previous iteration of Airchat was released. However, yesterday the team, which included Naval Ravikant, the founder of AngelList, and Brian Norgard, a former product executive for Tinder, rebuilt the application and reintroduced it on both iOS and Android platforms. At present, Airchat is exclusively accessible via invitation. However, it has already achieved a ranking of #27 in the social networking category on Apple’s App Store.

Airchat has a user interface that is visually familiar and easy to understand. Users can follow other users, navigate through a feed of posts, and interact with those posts by replying, liking, and sharing them. The distinction comes from the fact that the content consists of audio recordings for both posts and replies, which are subsequently converted into written form by the application.

Airchat automatically starts sending messages, which you can quickly navigate through by vertically swiping up and down. If you have the desire, you have the option to pause the audio and only read the text. Additionally, users have the capability to exchange photographs and videos. However, it appears that audio is the main point of interest for everyone, and Ravikant explains that it has the potential to significantly change the way social apps function, especially when contrasted to text-based platforms.

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Upon my recent enrollment in Airchat, the majority of the messages I encountered pertained to the application itself. Notably, Ravikant and Norgard actively engaged in responding to inquiries and seeking input from users.

“All humans are inherently capable of harmonious interactions with one another; it simply necessitates the use of our innate communication abilities,” Ravikant stated. “The prevalence of online text-only media has created the false belief that people are unable to get along, when in reality, everyone is capable of getting along.”

Past instances have seen digital entrepreneurs placing their bets on speech as the upcoming significant trend in social media. However, Airchat’s utilization of asynchronous, threaded messages provides a distinct experience compared to the transient live chat rooms that briefly gained popularity on Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces. Norgard claimed that this method eliminates the obstacle of stage fright when it comes to participation, as individuals have the freedom to make multiple attempts at producing a message without anybody being aware.

Indeed, he stated that during discussions with the first users, the team discovered that the majority of individuals currently utilizing AirChat exhibit introverted and timid characteristics.

Personally, I have not yet persuaded myself to publish anything. I was primarily intrigued by observing how other individuals were utilizing the application. Additionally, I had a complex emotional connection with the auditory perception of my own speech.

However, there is value in listening to Ravikant and Norgard articulate their perspective instead of solely relying on written transcriptions, as the latter may overlook subtle aspects such as excitement and tone. I am particularly interested in observing how deadpan humor and shitposting are conveyed, or not, in audio format.

I also encountered some difficulty with the velocity. The application automatically sets the audio playing to double the normal speed, which I found to be artificial, especially considering that the main purpose is to promote human interaction. To reset the speed, simply press and hold the pause button. However, when the speed is set to 1x, I observed that I would begin to skim through longer postings while listening, and I would often jump forward before listening to the entire audio. However, perhaps that is acceptable.

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However, Ravikant’s conviction in the efficacy of speech to reduce hostility does not always obviate the requirement for content-filtering functionalities. According to him, the feed operates based on intricate regulations that aim to conceal spam, trolls, and those that either you or they may prefer not to receive messages from. However, at the time of publication, he had not yet replied to a subsequent user inquiry regarding content moderation.

When questioned about monetization, namely the introduction of advertisements, whether in audio format or otherwise, Ravikant stated that the company is currently not under any obligation to generate revenue. (He characterized himself as “not the exclusive investor” but rather as a significant stakeholder in the company.)

“Monetization is of little importance to me,” he stated. “We will operate this project with minimal financial resources if necessary.”

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Android

Pixel 8 Pro runs Google’s generative AI models

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Rick Osterloh, Google’s SVP of devices and services, says the Pixel 8 Pro will be the first hardware to run Google’s generative AI models.

At an event today, Osterloh said the Pixel 8 Pro’s custom-built Tensor G3 chip, which accelerates AI workloads, can run “distilled” versions of Google’s text- and image-generating models to power image editing and other apps.

Osterloh said, “We’ve worked closely with our research teams across Google to take advantage of their most advanced foundation models and distill them into a version efficient enough to run on our flagship Pixel.”

Google improved Magic Eraser, its photo-editing tool, to remove larger objects and people smudge-free using on-device models. Osterloh claims that this improved Magic Eraser creates new pixels to fill in shot gaps, producing a higher-quality image.

Osterloh says a new on-device model will “intelligently” sharpen and enhance photo details, improving zoom.

On-device processing benefits audio recording. The Pixel 8 Pro’s recording app will soon summarize meeting highlights.

Gboard will use a large language model on the Pixel 8 Pro to power smart replies. Osterloh claims that the upgraded Gboard will provide “higher-quality” reply suggestions and better conversational awareness.

Osterloh said an update in December will add on-device generative AI features except for Magic Eraser, which appears on the Pixel 8 Pro at launch.

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Android

Telegram launches a global self-custodial crypto wallet, excluding the US

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Telegram, with 800 million monthly users, is launching a self-custodial crypto wallet. The move will solidify its presence in the vibrant crypto community that has grown from its chat platform and may attract more people to crypto.

Telegram and TON Foundation announced TON Space, a self-custodial wallet, on Wednesday at Singapore’s Token2049 crypto conference, which draws over 10,000 attendees.

Telegram has a complicated blockchain relationship. After the SEC sued Telegram over a massive initial coin offering, the chat app abandoned its Telegram Open Network (TON) blockchain project in 2020. The Open Network Foundation (TON Foundation), founded by open-source developers and blockchain enthusiasts, supports the development of The Open Network (TON), the blockchain powering a growing number of Telegram applications, including the wallet.

The Open Platform (TOP) and TOP Labs, a venture-building division, created the TON-based wallet.

TON Space will be available to Telegram users worldwide without wallet registration in November. The U.S., which has cracked down on the crypto industry and promoted many crypto apps to geofence users, is currently excluded from the feature.

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