Siri: All you want to know

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The user might be aware about so many things beyond Siri, what it can actually do apart from monitoring. It enables the user to know how many calories are there in a cup of tea the user is in-taking to how many flights are actually flying above the sky. But it is essential to know the origination and reception that Siri offers.

What is Siri?

Apple’s voice-controlled personal digital assistant, Siri is basically voice-controlled which understands between relationships and context. Ask Siri questions or asking Siri to do things for the user, it seems as if asking a real assistant. With a straight out from Pixar, it keeps the user connected as well as informed in the right place as well as on-time. The technology has been around from couple of years. The assistant first ensured its presence around few years ago on iPhone 4s. The introduction of Siri was as lavish as declared to be the next big thing during the launch presentation of iPhone, but could not withstand the claim as iPhone has grown through the age and developed various other things beyond imagination.

The main idea behind Siri is to offer a seamless interaction like a friend and aims to help in order to get the things done in iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch. With access to every built-in apps on Apple device, for instance Mail, messages, Contacts, Safari etc., this app would search with the help of databases whenever it looks for.

Origination:

As per Cultofmac, Siri which is although considered to be the ground-breaking example as far as Artificial Intelligence, this is accepted as a prediction of 1980s but accomplished as a climatic stage of a long-term dream at Apple. Siri was one of the last projects of Steve Jobs. This is defining that period of time when Jobs was heavily involved with Apple while his health worsening gradually.

Tracing back the origin of voice assistant to the year 1980s, this was the fruit of Apple’s R&D initiative that took place after he left the company. With regards to Siri, there is although a very famous story in the second half of the 1980s, John Sculley, former Apple’s CEO had commissioned George Lucas to create a video what he explained it to be “Knowledge Navigator”.

But the true existence can be taken into consideration from 2003, hence the history can be divided into pre- 2003 and post 2003.

Progress of Siri in 2003: It all started with the most important incident when DARPA, A U.S. government Agency awarded a 150M$ contract in order to create a virtual Assistant that gain profound knowledge from watching people working. As per cultofmac, it is defining that period of time when DARPA was designed to aid military commanders in order to handle irresistible amount of data that they received.

Next came CALO, standing for Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes into the picture, where SRI International was leading non-profit R&D and was approached by DARPA to create a five-year, 500 investigation which was considered to be the largest artificial intelligence undertaking in history. Adam Cheyer, an Engineer spent a considerable amount of his time working on Virtual Assistant simultaneous to the project called Vanguard.  Dag Kittlaus, one of the General Managers at Motorola felt so much fascinated after seeing the prototype of the Vanguard assistant, that he quit Motorola.

What brought Siri into existence in 2008?

Siri App

Kittlaus and Cheyer, soon after half a decade along with another guy named Gruber managed to gather $8.5 million as investment in order to start a startup. It was intended to merge Vanguard projects with the best parts of the CALO. This was after the important step taken by SRI International to spin off a startup which came to be known as “Siri” as a phonetic version of SRI.

Apple’s acquisition to Siri

Then came the remarkable day when Siri was launched into the App Store in the earlier part of 2010 which was although connected to a wider variety of web services which enabled them to consume data with the lot of web services. Although few tech savvy consider that version to be quite intuitive rather than Current Siri which is a part of the App Store.

A week after the launch of Siri app, Steve Jobs brought the startup with the amount of $200 million. Currently, Apple is trying hard to improve the feature. Despite of the fact that only one of three co-founders are still working at the company, two champions of iOS, Steve Jobs and Scott Forstall are no longer.

Development

Siri first ensured appearance on iOS app that has enabled users in order to ask natural language that was examined with the help of company’s network service with the ultimate answer encompassing from purchasing movie tickets to making dinner appointments.

With the magnificent processing power of iPhone 4S started in the year 2011 to do something beyond Siri, transforming the app into deeply embedded service. As far as speech recognition is concerned, Apple has not conformed till 2011 technology conference when Nuance’s CEO confirmed the relationship. Siri’s apt in order to understand spoken language has been supplied by Nuance Communication. This is arguably the most advanced speech recognition company at the global level. What makes it speech recognition advanced, is the utilisation of sophisticated machine learning techniques which includes convolutional neural networks and long short-term memory.  

Voice Actors

The company’s voice-activated personal assistant assists the user from everything from scheduling meeting, speed dialling as well as searching for directions. Apple users must be familiar with Siri, are versed off with male as well as female variations of Siri and distinct versions across the world but may be curious enough to know the real actors behind these voices?

Jon Briggs who is the voice of The Weakest Link was the first British male voice for Siri. American users must be aware of Susan Bennett– American female Siri and the voice of Delta Airlines. In the portion of Australia, Karen Jacobsen is famous as “GPS girl”.

Features and functionalities

The basics

It would be a big mistake to consider Siri as a mere voice control system, it is versed with context and can easily understand relationships. For instance, user can ask Siri to call Wife’s phone and Siri is aware who the wife is and which phone number to dial. Siri can deliver iMessages or SMS, w-mail of any friends, family as well as co-workers. It is irrespective the way user communicate, Siri makes it convenient to stay in touch. Apart from that, it can set timer, check the weather, check Stock, conversions and can even solve mathematics problems.

Phone/Settings

This comes into taking picture or selfie of users. But the question is how to get Siri and secure it before start utilising Siri? While in most of the cases, Siri can be started by using Siri right into the box while in maximum Cases, the users need to enable it first. There are some settings which are essential to configure in order to make Siri secure. Since Siri is capable to bypass the user’s PIN lock to get the contacts as well as data, all the options must be checked by the user and need to pick the most convenient combination of convenience and security.

Like the user can increase as well as decrease the brightness, and designate the relationships in the beginning and once the relationship is established. Later on, users can connect relationships instead of names.  

Scheduling and reminders

The main motive behind the designing of Siri is to get the things done and partial of the job description is to create and update the list of to-dos as far as Reminder apps are concerned in iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. It can schedule or cancel a meeting, appointments for tomorrow, can also set location-aware reminders, can find the date and day of the week of holiday, set alarms, can set/delete alarms, can check the number of days between dates and can find the time of a particular city like Sydney.

Search

From the latest celebrity gossip to answering all those nagging math questions. It can search anything from Google, Yahoo, Bing and WolframlAlpha. Apple can currently search Google or Yahoo or Bing for the sake of general information and WolframlAlpha for computational knowledge. By just typing into the web search box, perhaps it does not look for any typing. It can help the user to find synonym of a particular word, finding photos, searching Twitter, identify photos, friends, pictures, apps etc.  It can even search for word/ PDF/Power Point/ My documents/etc. in my downloads etc.

Navigation

Rather than fumbling iPhone while driving, voice turn by turn navigation and direction have been incredibly convenient with Apple Maps, Siri can be utilised in order to start the direction and then user can get the actual navigation spoken through it. Step by step approach:

  • Summon Siri while driving
  • User can issue a command to use the language: Give me direction to(location), Give me direction to(City), or Give me direction to (address)

Entertainment

As per Lincolnshire, the application can entertain by telling the user a joke, it can be as sweet as “how am I looking”?, enable story-time as well. Apart from these it enables to give the users with sports updates, finding the movie time as well as locations, identifying the name of the song being played in the living room. Even the application is as intelligent to speak about the synopsis of movie time.

Third-party apps

This is although one of the most important changes in iOS 10, Siri’s ability with third-party apps. With the ultimate motive to control the experience, Apple chosen to expand the commands initially to only six types of third-party apps.

  • Audio/video calling
  • Messaging
  • Sending and receiving payments
  • Searching photos
  • Starting workout
  • Booking rides

There are actually couple of third-party apps that have already employed the new Siri SDK. Hence, voice commands can be brought to use in order to deliver WhatApp messages, requesting an Uber or sending money via Square Cash.

Important incidents in the existence of Siri

Siri Apple

Siri was re-introduced with a new interface in iOS 5. Although some users had the opinion that Siri, no longer enjoyed the equivalent level of enjoyment with the partner integration level as compared to an independent app.  

With iOS 6, Siri turned out to be more compatible with iPad and had somehow gained the ability for information deployment about sports, restaurants and movies. It was also capable to provide information to open apps for Twitter updates or post Facebook and capable enough to hoop with the Apple’s new Map as far as turn-by-turn navigation is concerned.

In iOS 7, to match the new design language, access to settings, and higher-quality voices, Siri got a facelift with another feature to display tweets from Twitter, tying ins to Wikepedia.

iOS 8, it had gained the ability to listen with so-called “Hey Siri”, the moment plugged in. the way, it made the driving convenient, while cooking in the kitchen, or occupying to use the Home button as far as activation is concerned.

iOS 9, Apple introduced proactive features in order to make Siri contextually aware and tried hard to make Hey Siri feature even better.

iOS 10 the iPhone voice assistant got improvisation considering over voice search . It enabled Siri to control a lot more apps, sending messages with third-party apps, it turned as powerful to ask for a ride, searching YouTube on Apple TV, expansive searching for movies about specific apps, Siri on Mac with multitasking etc.  

How Siri will be embedded in iOS 11?

As far as iOS 11 is concerned, Siri has learned more to sound like an actual human. Although this is considered to be just a beginning with the advent of new operating system in iPhones and iPad. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook gave an overview of iOS 11 during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2017 keynote where new features like sweeping new upgrades are expected to embed to Siri. Apart from that, a redesigned control Centre as well as a brand new App to let the user to receive as well as send money to contacts through iMessage.

Apart from that, the app is expected to look a bit different by giving voice assistant a new visual interfaces that will be as effective to give multiple results as per the requests. In addition, it is expected to translate phrases as per user’s requirement from English to Chinese, French, Italian, German, and Spanish.  The Apple Assistance application is expected to turn more predictive and will expand SirKit to include robust integrations with third-party services.

The way more innovation are stealing the grounds from the other giants in favour of Apple, Siri is expected with long-run survival. Analogously, it is expected to extend the tentacles where it has still not yet predicted.

References:

Wikipedia

Imore

Macworld

Macobserver

Cnet: 1, 2

Imore: 1, 2

Macworld: 1, 2

CultofMac

 

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