Apple will no longer send Siri requests to its servers, the company has announced, in a move to substantially speed up the voice assistant's operation and address privacy concerns. The new feature comes two years after the Guardian revealed that Apple staff regularly heard confidential details while carrying out quality control for the feature. Apple's worldwide developers conference (WWDC) was told on Monday that, from this autumn onwards, when new versions of the company's operating systems are released, Siri will process audio "on device" – meaning that, for the majority of queries, no recording will need to be uploaded to Apple's servers. "With on-device speech recognition, the audio of users' requests is processed right on their iPhone or iPad by default," an Apple spokesperson said. "This addresses one of the biggest privacy concerns for voice assistants, which is unwanted audio recording. For many requests, Siri processing is also moving on device, enabling requests to be processed without an internet connection, such as launching apps, setting timers and alarms, changing settings or controlling music."
AI is helping businesses understand "what will happen in the future and how they can stay ahead," says Oracle NetSuite EVP Jim McGeever. He now runs his own firm, Evans Strategic Communications LLC.) CLOUD WARS -- A few months after upgrading its huge portfolio of SaaS apps with "adaptive intelligence" capabilities for the digital economy, Oracle is doing the same for its entire NetSuite family of integrated applications aimed at small and mid-sized businesses. The NetSuite announcement means that while Oracle is still well behind SaaS leader Salesforce.com in revenue, Oracle now offers not only the broadest set of SaaS apps on the market--a truly end-to-end integrated portfolio--but also has the largest family of AI- and machine-learning-enhanced applications suitable for customers ranging in size from the world's largest corporations down to small businesses. The impact will be significant because in cloud ERP alone, NetSuite has 40,000 organizations--standalone companies as well as subsidiaries of big corporations--running its products across 160 countries. And when this NetSuite AI initiative is paired up with the significant commitment Oracle's making to ensure that AI and machine learning are fully infused into all of its IP rather than being a separate application, it's clear that Oracle wants to ensure there is zero daylight between today's AI phenomenon and the company's extensive cloud product lineup--including NetSuite.