This is the secret to how Apple is making Siri sound more human

The next Siri won’t put the emPHAsis on the wrong sylLAble.

That’s more or less the promise Apple made during last week’s World Wide Developers Conference Keynote. Demonstrating onstage, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, asked Siri about the weather.

“Here’s the forecast for the next three days: Sunny, sunny, and sunny,” replied Siri.

Each “sunny” sounded a shade different. Though Federighi declared it “very powerful,” the developer audience didn’t break into wild applause.

Maybe that’s a victory in itself. With the upcoming iOS 11, the now 6-year-old Siri will sound so natural that no one will notice, and by notice I mean those cringe-worthy moments when Siri (or really any voice assistant) attempts to pronounce a name, location, or offer a more natural reply and it sounds like they swallowed a fly mid-sentence. (My personal favorite is when Siri mangles the name of my hometown.) Read more…

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