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Why Siri and the AirPods Excite Bill Atkinson

Bill Atkinson, the legendary developer behind the original Mac’s QuickDraw graphics system and classic Mac apps like MacPaint and HyperCard, has been waiting for Apple’s forthcoming AirPods for years. Back in 2011, he gave a Macworld Expo presentation in which he explained why Siri belongs in your ear, which the AirPods will provide. Atkinson cites the Jane artificial intelligence in Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game” series as a model for Apple to follow. As for the future of Siri on the AirPods, Atkinson says, “Within a few years it’s going to be able to do lots of things: It will hear everything you hear, it’s going to be able to whisper in your ear.” For the moment, though, he’s realistic about Siri’s capabilities. “Siri is a bit of a joke now; it doesn’t really understand the meaning of conversations,” Atkinson admits. “That’s going to improve.”

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