September 14, 2016
This week, we answer the imponderables – who cares about political correctness, who’s messing with our reality, and who is Siri? Read on …
Robert Stephens | Who’s lovin’ PC?
According to the Pew Research Center, a majority of Americans think political correctness has gone too far. But there is a deep divide along political lines.
Almost 83% of Trump supporters say too many people are too easily offended by language today. Get over it, they urge.
Clinton supporters, on the other hand, are great defenders of PC with almost 60% saying people need to be more sensitive regarding the appropriate use of language. Get with the program, they preach.
This fundamental difference has been reflected in the campaign styles of the candidates, and it will likely dominate the tone of the upcoming debates – Sep. 26 at Hofstra University in New York, Oct. 9 at Washington University in St. Louis, and Oct. 19 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Megan Stephens | The rise of AR
As though we aren’t already distracted enough by our smartphones. Now we can really obsess, thanks to Pokémon Go.
The augmented reality (AR) app is sweeping the planet. In its first month, it has been downloaded more than 75 million times across both iOS and Android systems and has grossed over $250 million in global revenue with figures suggesting it is on course to earn $1 billion.
Viewed through a smartphone’s camera, AR superimposes artificial images on the natural world. Some observers are saying that Pokémon Go is the first mass adoption of a technology that will increasingly immerse us in a computer-generated world.
International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that worldwide revenues for the augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) market will grow from $5.2 billion this year to more than $162 billion in 2020. That’s a compound annual growth rate of 180% over the forecast period.
While still in the early stages of adoption, AR technology is expected to have a major impact far beyond gaming, potentially transforming industries such as health care, education, logistics, and manufacturing.
We urge you to check this out to get a sense of the mind-boggling power of AR.
Robert Stephens | The real Siri
Have you ever wondered who Siri really is?
The original voice in North America was that of Susan Bennett, who recorded thousands of phrases and sentences in her home studio over a one-month period in 2005.
At the time, Bennett was working for her client ScanSoft (later renamed Nuance and acquired by Apple) and had no idea her voice would eventually be used in the iPhone.
Bennett only became aware she was the voice of Siri when a friend contacted her through email in 2011.
Similarly, Jon Briggs was the original male Siri voice in the U.K., and only discovered that he was the iPhone assistant after seeing a demonstration on television years later. The Telegraph reported that Apple tried to get Briggs to keep silent about his role.
The Australian voice was provided by Karen Jacobsen. Like the other original talent, she recorded for ScanSoft and was paid a one-time fee.
According to TechRadar, none of the original actors received any additional payments from Apple even though their voices were on millions and millions of iPhones.
With the release of iOS 7 in 2013, Siri was updated and new, unnamed voiceover artists were used.
Apparently, Steve Jobs never liked the name Siri, but he stuck with it because no one at Apple could dream up anything better. It was named by its co-creator Dag Kittalaus, and in Norwegian means “beautiful woman who leads you to victory.”
Left to right: The first voices of Siri – Susan Bennett, Jon Briggs and Karen Jacobsen.