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Article: Cloud apps, big data and the wisdom of swarms | ZDNet

So once again WE are the content. A new twist on user empowerment .Cloud apps, big data and the wisdom of swarms | ZDNet

What’s happening behind the scenes is that Siri has analyzed tens of thousands of voices and identified patterns that run across all of those voices. As a cloud-sourced app, it can continue to refine and hone that central library of voice patterns based on what it encounters in the field. This is where the cloud approach really wins. The old, PC-based systems could learn a person’s voice, but they couldn’t use that learning to improve their ability to learn the next user’s. A cloud app like Siri can continuously evolve its core capability with every new user.

So instead of having to perfectly predict every anticipated type of voice (and inevitably fail on the unexpected edge cases), the cloud-based app can simply react to what it finds. As my wife started using the phone on a family car journey, Siri dealt effortlessly with the mixed voices of my wife and two excited children. If you’d set out to develop a voice-recognition system, would you have thought to include that use case in the spec? Siri doesn’t have to make that judgement — in fact, Siri doesn’t judge at all, it just works with what it finds. That, along with the broad base of data that it gets to work with, is what makes it so powerful.

Gerd Leonhard

Twitter: @gleonhard

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