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Siri is too “clumsy” to compete with ChatGPT, according to a former Apple engineer


It seems that Apple has a lot of work ahead of it if it wants to create an AI-based virtual assistant that can stand up to ChatGPT.

siri is too "clumsy" to be able to compete with ChatGPT, according to a former Apple engineer
Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, on an iPhone

AND Apple wants to end up having a AI-based virtual assistant as powerful as ChatGPT, the company must rethink its strategy when continuing to work on siri. At least, that’s what John Burkey, a former Apple employee in charge of improving Siri’s capabilities, has revealed, who left the Cupertino company in 2016.

In statements offered to The New York Timesexplain what Siri’s “clunky and sloppy” design makes it very difficult to add new features to the wizard. For that reason, he believes that it will never become a real alternative to ChatGPT, the chatbot based on the OpenAI Large Language Model (LLM), GPT-4.

Siri is only capable of answering simple queries present in its database.

The former Apple engineer has taken advantage of the interview to explain further how siri works (and probably the majority of virtual assistants on smartphones today). account that Siri is only capable of answering simple querieslike “what’s the weather like?” or “can you play this song?” To do so, the virtual assistant consult its database of words and offers an appropriate answer, as long as it is available.

This structure translates into a great limitationsince it is the task of the developers to add new words and queries to their database in order to increase the capabilities of Siri. Burkey refers to this database as a “big snowball,” in which adding new phrases can take up to six weeks. Apart from that, incorporate more complex functions in Sirias search tools, it could lead up to one year of work.

“Even updating basic Siri features could take weeks due to its outdated and convoluted code.”

All of this makes it an almost impossible mission for Apple. transform Siri into a virtual assistant with functionalities similar to those of ChatGPT in terms of its ability to generate creative texts or solve problems proposed by users. In this sense, one of the creators of Apple’s assistant, Adam Cheyer, confirmed some time ago that “ChatGPT’s abilities make current voice assistants look stupid.”

Although Apple isn’t the only company in trouble. It is evident that the technology that gives life to both Siri and Cortana, Alexa or the Google Assistant been stuck for a long timeand that the new language models are leaving the capabilities of this type of language far behind. AI. It is not surprising, therefore, that all the big technology companies are focusing a good part of their resources on the development of new models (including Apple itself), which perhaps in a short time will end up laying the foundations of the virtual assistants of the future.

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