Understanding Apple’s Siri and how to effectively use it

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When it comes to technology, there are many things that seem like they are exclusively reserved for the tech-geeks, but Business Insider's Megan Rose Dickey recently outlined 10 tech terms that everyone – even the non-geeky sort – should be familiar with.

Making the list at No. 5 was machine learning, which as Benjy Weinberger, the engineering site lead at Foursquare, explained is when a machine is programmed with algorithms to infer general rules from a set of examples to simulate the act of human learning. Apple's Siri is an example of a result of a machine learning algorithm that approximates human understanding of speech.

For those who are very familiar with Apple's Siri, you likely have run into a few minor speech recognition problems. However, there are a few ways that you can gain the upper hand and improve how efficiently these devices are used with the program.

Masterfully using Siri
In a recent Cult of Mac blog post, contributor Rob LeFebvre shared a number of tips for most effectively using Siri. His first tip was to correct Siri input errors. While Siri's capabilities have advanced considerably thus far, the program continues to interpret speech incorrectly on occasion. Since Siri doesn't include functionality to correct errors using speech, you can use the iPhone or iPad's keyboard to correct the program by tapping the bubble with the incorrect text. This will bring up an editable field where you can manually correct the error.

While Siri is easily activated by pressing and holding the Home button, Siri can also be set up to listen through a Bluetooth accessory. To do this, make sure the Bluetooth accessory is connected to the device before pressing and holding the Home button. Then, tap the glowing blue speaker icon that appears to the right of Siri's usual microphone icon. Select the Bluetooth device to set it for input.

LeFebvre also said that Siri can be used to generate a particularly secure random password because it is backed by the knowledge web site Wolfram Alpha. To get a secure random password, press and hold the Home button, saying either “Wolfram password” or “WolframAlpha password.”

These tips should allow people to more effectively use their advanced Siri digital assistant, ensuring that you don't get so frustrated with her that you throw your iPhone against a nearby wall. If you were late to receive these tips and the device has already been flung, iResQ's iPhone repair services can fix your device and help repair your relationship with Siri as well.

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