We’ve just had a big tech season. Between Facebook’s F8 conference, Google’s I/O Conference and Apple’s most recent Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) we’ve seen the big plans that these tech companies plan on focusing on over this next year. As a huge Apple supporter, I have to say, companies like Google in particular are giving Apple a run for their money.
Companies like Google have been focusing on their plans for continued growth and improvement around artificial intelligence and augmented reality. This is setting the bar even higher for Apple whose own intelligent assistant Siri still has a lot of issues when used. Siri does not have the greatest speech recognition and is not connected enough to go in and execute commands. When you’re comparing Siri with Amazon’s Alexa, the winner is clear. Alexa has won awards for its excellent speech recognition, ease of use, and translation to easily control other smart-home devices using voice commands. Siri, by contrast can be inconsistent and understands you poorly.
The shift to artificial intelligence and augmented reality is one that Apple needs to catch up with quickly if they want to stay in the game. Using Alexa again as a reference –now that it is so streamlined and easy to use, it’s going to be hard to come up with a new product from Apple and convince users to switch.
Another big area that is holding Apple back is the way they use data collected compared to companies like Google. Each company is collecting massive amounts of data from its users and then trying to use that data to help improve other areas. Google is taking the data gathered and using it to offer users a very personalized experience. CEO Sundar Pichai wants to give every user their own personal Google by letting each user see information that’s been tailored to their preferences and needs and delivered when most necessary and relevant.
The use of data in the artificial intelligence future is an issue for Apple. Apple has maintained, and truly stressed, its public commitment to privacy. The company has always been very vocal about this and also cautious with how it is using customer data. This makes it difficult to go up against a company like Google that is actively using customer data to tailor an individual experience.
Apple does have a large team of artificial intelligence experts. The hope is that they are aware of the issue and are working to improve themselves on an artificial intelligence front beyond what they are saying to the public. With other smart devices, like Alexa, being out for several years now with continued improvement –they’ll really have to get a cohesive strategy together to be the best in this area.
Is it time to count Apple out? Definitely not. They might not be in the lead on the artificial intelligence front, but they are still one of the main players. They have the bones in place and a series of devices to really execute a great intelligent system driven by data. The question will be how they will successfully use that data to improve and what their vision will be moving forward to keep up with the competition.
What are your thoughts on Apple’s artificial intelligence platform compared to companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook? Do you think Apple should be counted out? What are your experiences using Siri as an assistant? Let’s hear your thoughts – comment below!