Daniel Sinclair @_DanielSinclair Building for young people. Not reading @danielsunread. Lurking behind likes and thinking about social media, communication, & China. Aug. 28, 2019 1 min read

I appreciate Apple's privacy stance, but I am more convinced than ever that Siri will fail to summit the mountain.  https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2019/08/improving-siris-privacy-protections/ 

I don't understand the dichotomy Apple sees between audio and a computer's interpretation of it. If the goal is that the computer will reach ground truth, what is the difference? Why should one be private or on an opt-in basis, and the other be free game?

Making a divide between Apple employees and contractors also seems, just, naive. This is a problem with collection and tooling. Who touches the data is not a concern when both have access to the same resources, with the same lack of oversight.

These implementation details aside, I think Apple is solving the wrong problem. Hiding humans behind an automagic opt-in toggle 10 layers deep in Settings is the wrong approach. It's evidently deception by design, assuming no one will read this blog post & all will opt-in anyway.

What if we want humans in the loop? This is what I think Apple is missing. Siri wakes are programmed once on device activation, and than Siri disappears into the background. As our voices, spaces, & workflows change, it quietly grows more disconnected with us in the background.

As much as people want transparency on data collection, they want transparency on why & how things fail, on how to fix them, and understanding when they can be more trusted. Hiding all of this behind a singular activation and blind opt-in is cutting loses, not fixing Siri.

It's time to build the Siri in the foreground, one that acknowledges mistakes, that transparently presents a human in the loop. Windowing the human process to machine translation is ignoring the vast opportunity of voice. Broaden the focus, and let the user be the human too.

I wrote more about this here:

Bonus points for Apple: let Siri solve murders too. Fake AI is the stronger AI.


You can follow @_DanielSinclair.



Bookmark

____
Tip: mention @threader_app on a Twitter thread with the keyword “compile” to get a link to it.

Enjoy Threader? Sign up.

Threader is an independent project created by only two developers. The site gets 500,000+ visits a month and our iOS Twitter client was featured as an App of the Day by Apple. Running this space is expensive and time consuming. If you find Threader useful, please consider supporting us to make it a sustainable project.