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Big change coming to your iPhone and iPad with iOS 11

Siri on iOS 11
Big change coming to your iPhone and iPad with iOS 11
If you see the changing landscape of virtual assistants, many players have joined the market. Some of them are Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, Bixby, Cortana Siri is the OG of the group. Commonly referred to as a "she" (though it really is an "it"), Siri has been around since 2011, when it was introduced as part of iPhone 4s. For the people who are not aware, Siri is one of the oldest virtual assistance platforms. Recently we found that Apple is all set to change the way we launch Siri on iPhone 8.

If we talk about the stats of Siri, Siri is used by over 375 million active devices each month and fields two billion requests every week you know its voice has left much to be desired. That a huge number, isn’t it?

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Now, as Apple gets ready to officially release iOS 11 (and, according to rumors, new iPhones) to the public this fall, it's touting a new and improved Siri. One of the biggest and most noticeable changes: A new voice.

With iOS 11, Siri sounds slightly more human-like: It has more inflection and changes in pitch, knows when to pause, and, with the female voice, sounds slightly brighter and pepper. You won't be fooled into thinking you're speaking with a real person when you're talking to Siri, but its new voice is less robotic. (Head here to compare a Siri recording from iOS 9 with one from iOS 11.)

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The Siri team has used a deep MDN (mixture density network) that combines conventional deep neural networks with a Gaussian mixture model. This fusion enhances the voice output with human-like speech features such as formants and voiced and unvoiced speech sound transitions. The new engine generates high-quality speech into multiple audio segments -- as many as one to two million units -- and trains the unified target that resulted in through the mix with natural and lively prosody traits. Apple has also added a higher sampling rate of 48kHz over the existing 22kHz and accomplished the entire process with better audio compression.

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Notably, the fresh TTS system has several optimisations to suit mobile devices such as the new iPhone models or even the older ones that will be compatible with iOS 11. These optimisations are specific to the runtime performance for speed, memory usage, and footprint.

Behind the scene of Siri New voice

Not just bringing some tweaks using deep learning algorithms, but Apple has also hired a new female voice talent to enhance Siri your iOS device. "We evaluated hundreds of candidates before choosing the best one. Then, we recorded over 20 hours of speech and built a new TTS voice using the new deep learning based TTS technology," the Siri team states in the white paper.

Siri now can translate language

Apple's Siri engineers are additionally working hard to bring as many international languages to the digital assistant as they can. The iOS 11 update is expected to enable you to translate phrases to languages such as Spanish, French, Italian, and German. These translation changes are presently available in beta for users with American English.

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