ChatGPT could wipe out voice assistants like Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa

It might take roughly a year to incorporate more sophisticated functions like ChatGPT into Siri, claims an ex-Apple employee.
Baba Tamim
OpenAI  ChatGPT.
OpenAI ChatGPT.

Getty Images 

OpenAI's ChatGPT is far more potent than Apple's Siri and has little chance of competing with the sensational artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot, according to an ex-Apple employee. 

It is challenging to add new capabilities to Siri because of its "clunky code," John Burkey told the New York Times (NYT) on Wednesday. 

"AI Chatbots are powered by what are known as large language models. In contrast, Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant are essentially what are known as command-and-control systems," he said. 

"If a user asks the virtual assistant to do something that is not in its code, the bot simply says it can't help."

Siri "had a cumbersome design that made it time-consuming to add new features," added Burkey, who worked for apple between 2014-2016. 

Siri's database is 'one big snowball' 

Burkey explained that Siri is able to respond to basic questions like "What's the weather in New York City?" or "Turn on the bedroom lights." by consulting a database that has a big collection of words like restaurant names and musician names. 

Engineers must therefore add new phrases to Siri's database in order to increase its vocabulary because Siri can only comprehend a finite number of inquiries, Burke told NYT

Siri's database is "one big snowball," and adding new phrases might take up to six weeks because the database needs to be completely overhauled, according to him. 

It might take roughly a year to incorporate more sophisticated functions like ChatGPT into Siri. He claimed that because of its antiquated, complex programming, even updating Siri's fundamental functionality may take weeks.

ChatGPT makes voice assistants look 'dumb'

Burkey's opinions on Siri come as ChatGPT-type AI chatbots threaten to render voice assistant technology obsolete with its amazing capabilities.

On Tuesday, OpenAI released GPT-4, "a large multimodal model," with "best-ever results on capabilities and alignment."

The huge GPT-4 multimodal model can process inputs in both text and image but can only respond in text.

The model, according to the business, is "more creative and collaborative than ever before" and "can solve difficult problems with greater accuracy."

Voice assistants like Siri and Amazon's Alexa are "dumb as a rock," according to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, who recently invested $10 billion in OpenAI. 

Adam Cheyer, a co-creator of Siri, would concur. He told Financial Times that ChatGPT makes existing voice assistants "look stupid.

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