Have you heard of Siri?

Do you know if it’s going to rain today off the top of your head? What about the light bulb’s creator or the location of the neighborhood sushi joint? In fact, Siri does. One billion solutions were provided by this artificial intelligence each week in 2015. That amount doubled in 2016.

Numerous iPhone users now benefit from Siri’s assistance in their daily lives thanks to the computer intelligence and other sophisticated technologies that power it. And how does it operate? Siri combines speech recognition software, artificial intelligence, and a language user interface. Together, they translate spoken words into digital language, which is then sent to an Apple server where another program decodes the speech and converts it to text. The natural-language user interface examines it from there. Siri looks inside your phone as she tries to respond to your queries or carry out your orders. If there is no solution, she logs on to the internet.

Let’s look at the history of this technology for a moment. Hearsay II, a form of Siri prototype, served as an early source of inspiration for Siri. Dabbala Rajagopal Reddy, a young Indian researcher at Stanford, created this technology.

John McCarthy and his associates had just lately, in 1956, created the term “artificial intelligence.” They were also at Stanford, and Reddy became interested in their work. His interest in language and the situation led him to pursue a career in speech recognition.

Reddy and his colleagues created a technique that enabled a computer to comprehend words in the 1960s. At the time, this computer was the biggest of its kind, and it had a 92 percent accuracy rate for understanding about 560 words.

Then, while attending Carnegie Mellon University in the 1970s, Reddy proceeded to develop this method. He ultimately transformed it into the speech interface Hearsay, which was followed by Hearsay II. The latter system was able to comprehend 1,000 English words, and it was only a matter of time before the technology was improved to create Siri as we know her today.

Can you list every material used in an iPhone? The vast majority of individuals wouldn’t even know where to begin. Additionally, there are at least 30 materials on the list, including copper, iron, aluminum, and even a little amount of tin.

That tin most likely originates from the Cerro Rico mines, which are located nearby Potos, Bolivia. The tin is mined, then delivered to smelters, typically EM Vinto or Operaciones Metalrgicas, before being sent to companies like those that make Apple products, among others. This tin is typically utilized in the form of solder, an alloy based on tin that joins the various parts of iPhones.

Costs are associated with this Cerro Rico tin. For instance, between four and eight million people have perished there due to famine, subzero temperatures, and cave ins since mining first started there in the middle of the sixteenth century. Cerro Rico is known as “The Mountain That Eats Men” as a result of this horrific moniker.

Around 15,000 people still labor there, many of them youngsters, and the death rate is still out of control. In reality, two children recently lost their lives while working in a mine. They had been inebriated from the harsh working conditions, lost their way in the maze-like mine, and eventually perished from exposure. Geologists are now cautioning that the mountain is in danger of collapsing due to centuries of hollowing it down, which makes the situation even more terrifying.

Therefore, the tin mined for the iPhone results in great human misery, but it is not the only drawback of this device. Bangka Island in Indonesia, another location with lethal mines, is home to more than half of the tin smelters that Apple uses. On this island, the mining supervisors use tractors to dig pits at random and frequently illegally, leaving behind shaky walls in their wake. These unstable walls frequently collapse and kill miners in the process. As a result, there died a miner every week in 2014.

In China, just outside of Shenzhen, is a sizable Foxconn factory where the iPhone is made and put together. Only McDonald’s and Walmart employ more people globally than Foxconn, which is the largest employer in mainland China.

The Longhua facility of the firm, located in Shenzhen, is about 1.4 square miles large and once employed about 450,000 people. Even though the plant employs fewer people now, it is still one of the biggest in the world. The working conditions in this plant are appalling, which may come as no surprise. Just in 2010, 14 factory workers committed suicide by jumping off the lofty factory structures; four more workers tried to do the same but failed; and another 20 workers were prevented from trying before they could.

The terrible working circumstances, which frequently include long hours, oppressive management, and a system of arbitrary and humiliating fines for even the smallest infractions, are believed to have been the driving force behind each suicide attempt.

The CEO of Foxconn, Terry Gou’s response? Instead of enhancing the working environment, Gou had nets built around the structure to prevent employees from falling to their deaths. Steve Jobs, on the other hand, was completely dismissive, citing statistics showing similar suicide rates at the typical universities.

In other words, neither Apple nor its suppliers appear to be concerned about the safety of their employees, but they are. In reality, the author discovered that the Apple suppliers in Shanghai were extremely secure when he visited. The institution was off limits to him, and he was even not allowed to photograph it from the outside. It was completely enclosed by barbed wire and had numerous guards, cameras, and other security measures.

Even before employees can enter facilities, Pegatron, one of the main Shanghai-based manufacturers of Apple parts, requires them to swipe cards and stare into cameras that employ face recognition software. Although the corporation says that these precautions are taken to protect intellectual property, it is obvious that the high level of security also shields the business from any negative publicity that the industrial working conditions may undoubtedly cause.

The iPhone may represent the apex of modern technology, but it actually represents the culmination of decades of experimentation and invention. Although this technological marvel has changed modern living, the people who assemble the iPhone as well as the laborers who mine the metals it is constructed of suffer a number of adverse repercussions as a result of its manufacture.

Check out my related post: Have you tried Gorilla Glass?


Interesting reads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32603496-the-one-device

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s