Sonos devices have supported Amazon's Alexa voice assistant for almost five years now. The Sonos One from 2017 was the first speaker the company made with built-in microphones, and almost every speaker it's made since has worked with Alexa, not to mention Google Assistant. Despite supporting those popular services, though, Sonos has decided to build its own voice assistant. Dubbed Sonos Voice Control, the feature is specifically designed to work with music only, so this isn't exactly a competitor to Alexa and Google Assistant. Instead, it's meant to control your music as quickly as possible, and with privacy in mind.
I love my Apple TV, but I can't stand the old Siri remote that came with it. Its touchpad is too sensitive, and I never know if it's in the right orientation when I grab it. Apple did fix all that with its second-generation Siri remote, but why buy another one when the one I currently have still works--especially when I can use a few handy Siri commands to do more than what the touchpad can do. On the Apple TV and accompanying Siri remote there's a handy microphone button that lets you chat directly with Siri to get your TV to do things like search for movies in a specific genre or year, ping other devices, and even fast forward by a specific amount of time. Not every command is intuitive, though, so it's helpful to know a few of them off-hand before you binge another series.
You might not know that Amazon makes wireless earbuds. The second-gen Echo Buds (8/10, WIRED Recommends) are some of our favorites. They sound great and work well with Alexa, and right now they're only $50. They frequently dip to $85, but this is the lowest price we've ever tracked. Even at their typical full price of $120, these wireless earbuds fall into the budget range, so at less than half that they're quite a steal. If you buy something using links in our stories, we may earn a commission.
Remember surround sound home theater & 3D TV? The promise was real but the technology was premature. Unlike my younger Millennial cohorts, I can remember a time before the Internet took off. Al Gore may have invented it (or not) before my lungs first cried "Hello, World!" but like all nascent technologies, the Internet took a while to develop & fan out. A few years before the awful sound of dial-up modems became commonplace, my first experience with this new thing called the Internet was at my mom's workplace - the local community college.
Cortana (Jen Taylor) is one of the first characters that comes to mind when you think of the Halo universe. With a live-action Halo series on the way on Paramount, we thought a guide to Cortana (without giving too much away for those who haven't made their way through all the games) was in order. Cortana serves as a guide and ally to the player throughout Halo gameplay, and in that sense and many others, she is essential to the Halo experience. Her mannerisms as an AI make for a sort of dry humor that makes her stand out among other recurring characters in the game. It will be interesting to see how this character, who fits so easily into the video game format, will be adapted to a live-action television series.
Streaming devices may seem redundant in an era where smart TVs are king of home entertainment. But they can breathe new life into older, "dumb" TVs and even older smart TVs that no longer support newer versions of your favorite apps. They're incredibly easy to use: just plug them into a free HDMI port, connect to your home's Wi-Fi, and sign into your apps, and many work with virtual assistants like Alexa, Hey Google, and Siri for hands-free controls and integration into your smart home network. Just in time for the Super Bowl, you can take advantage of some great markdown deals and device bundles from retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart, so you don't miss a second of the action (and commercials). These devices are also great if you want to plunk the kids in another room to watch Encanto for the 11th time while you try to figure out exactly where Cincinnati is and why their fans yell "Who Dey" (hint from an Ohioan: I don't know either.
The technology boom amidst the pandemic has already hit 2022, creating another record with Apple. This week, the company was valued at $3 trillion, the first US company to reach this growth. This follows Apple's tremendous market growth that has risen by 38% since the start of 2021 and tripled in value in under four years. The Guardian estimated the valuation is equivalent to the combined value of Boeing, Coca-Cola, Disney, Exxon-Mobil, McDonald's, Netflix and Walmart. While the growth has not been sustained, the company has surely been a disruptor in the technology market with their breakthrough innovations for decades.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a part of everyday conversation and our lives. It is considered as the new electricity that is revolutionizing the world. AI is heavily invested in both industry and academy. However, there is also a lot of hype in the current AI debate. AI based on so-called deep learning has achieved impressive results in many problems, but its limits are already visible. AI has been under research since the 1940s, and the industry has seen many ups and downs due to over-expectations and related disappointments that have followed. The purpose of this book is to give a realistic picture of AI, its history, its potential and limitations. We believe that AI is a helper, not a ruler of humans. We begin by describing what AI is and how it has evolved over the decades. After fundamentals, we explain the importance of massive data for the current mainstream of artificial intelligence. The most common representations for AI, methods, and machine learning are covered. In addition, the main application areas are introduced. Computer vision has been central to the development of AI. The book provides a general introduction to computer vision, and includes an exposure to the results and applications of our own research. Emotions are central to human intelligence, but little use has been made in AI. We present the basics of emotional intelligence and our own research on the topic. We discuss super-intelligence that transcends human understanding, explaining why such achievement seems impossible on the basis of present knowledge,and how AI could be improved. Finally, a summary is made of the current state of AI and what to do in the future. In the appendix, we look at the development of AI education, especially from the perspective of contents at our own university.
What if you could pay less for music, but you had to rely on Siri to play it? That, in short, is the value proposition of Apple's latest music plan, Apple Music Voice. And it works -- but it's definitely not for everyone. Apple sent me a HomePod mini and an iPhone mini so I could test out Apple Music Voice. I'm fairly deeply invested in Apple's ecosystem of devices, apps, and services, but I haven't yet used a HomePod mini, nor was I ever a heavy Siri user. To add to that, I'm a voracious music listener with a big collection and subscriptions to all major music streaming services, and I like to tinker with my music choices.