How Apple turns Siri and other technologies into Big Data
AI technology lives from a multitude of data. The more data there is, the more effectively AI systems can develop and learn. In order for AI systems to reach their full potential, they have to be able to handle the massive amounts of data. Big data is necessary for this.
What is big data
Big data means something like “large amounts of data”. Big data is understood to mean data volumes that are characterized by an enormous amount, an enormous speed of creation and a variety of content. Since the human brain cannot handle such a large amount of data, there are programs that convert the data into understandable information. Big data are technologies that process and evaluate huge amounts of data.
How is the data created?
Data is collected via the smartphone or laptop while surfing the Internet. The websites visited collect information about the interests of the users in order to display personalized advertising. Companies that have data from many users can collect and evaluate a wide range of information about the behavior and preferences of users.
Big data opportunities and risks
The impact of targeted advertising is viewed positively by some people, but it can also be viewed critically. Some people worry that the knowledge from big data is not “only” used for advertising purposes, but also for political influence.
Big data has already made progress in various areas: In the medical field, software can make a diagnosis much faster, which means that treatment can take place more quickly. Software that has been fed with data can often make faster and more targeted forecasts through data evaluation.
This is how Apple turns Siri and iCloud into Big Data
It is understandable that the collected data is evaluated at Apple for closer insights and future developments. Not only does Apple have the personal data of millions of users, conclusions can also be drawn about how individual apps are actually used. From the scores of a game app, one could deduce where a particularly large number of users fail, and the course of the game could be improved at this point.
The “iWatch” has also become a data provider that informs Apple about the user’s medical measurements, his calorie consumption or bedtime. Should this watch ever be worn in large numbers, a cross-section of the sports and eating habits or health risks of the inhabitants of entire countries would soon be available.
Voice assistants Alexa and Co.
Voice assistants are very popular because they can make everyday life easier. Often, the voice assistants such as Alexa, Siri and Co. are entrusted with private information without knowing exactly what is happening with the disclosed data.
Every question or every command is saved on Amazon, Apple or Google computers. Not only the votes of the registered users are saved, but also those of children or visitors. As soon as the voice assistant is activated by the word “Alexa”, “Siri” or “Echo”, it picks up the voices of the respective person, even if children or visitors do not know anything about the device. In this way, personal information is disclosed even if the respective person has not given their consent.
Children in particular see the voice assistant as a practical everyday helper that is also used just for fun. Most adolescents do not see which technology and which companies are behind it.
These voice assistants are often used in everyday life. Especially when you have your hands full, they prove to be extremely practical – for example, they can send text messages to friends, change the music playlist as desired or enter an appointment in the calendar. However, making everyday life easier also has disadvantages, especially with regard to data protection.
The technology behind it
Voice assistants are intelligent computer programs that use artificial intelligence to create commands that they understand from sentences and process them further. Users receive an answer to their questions or commands within seconds. To achieve this, the program has to go through small sub-steps: First, the voice assistant is activated with the help of a code word that differs depending on the manufacturer. The voice assistant then forwards the spoken question to software, where the question is processed: a so-called parser program forms individual parts from the information, with the help of which the search algorithm can process the spoken sentence in order to perform the desired task. To do this, the search algorithm compares its database with the given commands. If the command or question is in the database, it is executed or an answer is given. Despite manufacturing-related differences, all voice assistants are based on this principle.
A microphone is required so that a voice assistant can receive and implement commands. In fact, the devices have a lot more than just one microphone – Amazon Echo devices, for example, have seven built-in microphones in order to be able to react immediately to their keyword. The microphones must be permanently active so that a reaction to commands is possible. This means that things can also be recorded that may not be overheard. In addition, it is only partially transparent which content is evaluated by the respective providers. Regardless of this, the companies receive basic information that is provided with the linked account of the respective manufacturer.
Technologies such as artificial intelligence and big data has made it possible for Apple and other big companies to develop solutions such as voice assistance. However, these solutions should be used with cautions because of the quantity of data involved.
I’m Henny Jones, a Content Marketing Manager at HData Systems awarded As Top Big Data Analytics and BI Consultant Company. The company offers services like Data Science, Big Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence and Data Visualization.