MAYBE you’ve seen the viral video of the potty-mouthed Scottish pensioner shouting at Alexa? The internet has plenty of examples of situations where Alexa, Siri, and other voice assistants have failed to understand Scottish accents. Why? The problem is both human and computational. Amazon claims that its Alexa software is tuned to English in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, and India.
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In my talk for the Co-Opting AI series, I spoke about my book, Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World, which looks at the inner workings and outer limits of technology. The talk was part of a book tour that (to my great surprise and delight) has lasted more than a year. During that time, I’ve traveled the world talking to audiences about what AI really is and isn’t.