Siri

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Siri
Siri icon.svg
Siri iOS 7.png
Siri on the iPhone 5S, running iOS 7.
Original author(s) SRI International
Developer(s) Apple Inc.
Initial release October 4, 2011; 2 years ago (2011-10-04)
Operating system
Platform
Available in
Type intelligent software assistant
License Proprietary
Website www.apple.com/ios/siri/

Siri /ˈsɪri/ is an intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator which works as an application for Apple Inc.'s iOS. The application uses a natural language user interface to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by delegating requests to a set of Web services. Apple claims that the software adapts to the user's individual preferences over time and personalizes results.[2] The name Siri is Norwegian, meaning "beautiful woman who leads you to victory", and comes from the intended name for the original developer's first child.[3]

Siri was originally introduced as an iOS application available in the App Store by Siri, Inc., which was acquired by Apple on April 28, 2010.[4] Siri, Inc. had announced that their software would be available for BlackBerry and for phones running Android, but all development efforts for non-Apple platforms were cancelled after the acquisition by Apple.[5]

Siri has been an integral part of iOS since iOS 5[6] and was introduced as a feature of the iPhone 4S in October 14, 2011.[7] Siri was added to the third generation iPad with the release of iOS 6 in September 2012, and has been included on all iOS devices released during or after October 2012.[8][9]

iPhone application[edit]

Siri was launched first as an application available on Apple's App Store in the United States. It integrated with services such as OpenTable,[10] Google Maps,[11] MovieTickets and TaxiMagic.[12] Using voice recognition technology from Nuance and their service partners, users could make reservations at specific restaurants, buy movie tickets or get a cab by dictating instructions in natural language to Siri.[13] Siri was acquired by Apple on April 28, 2010, and the original application ceased to function on October 14, 2011.[4][14]

iOS integration[edit]

The Siri feature shown on a white iPhone 4S.

On October 4, 2011 (Siri's birthday),[15] Apple introduced the iPhone 4S with their implementation of a beta version of Siri.[16] The new version of Siri is integrated into iOS, and offers conversational interaction with many applications, including reminders, weather, stocks, messaging, email, calendar, contacts, notes, music, clocks, web browser, Wolfram Alpha, and maps.[2] Currently, Siri supports English (American, Canadian, Australian, British), French, German, Japanese, Italian (Italy, Switzerland), Spanish (Mexico, Spain), Mandarin (China, Taiwan), Korean, and Cantonese. On launch, Siri had limited functionality outside the United States and Canada. However, Apple, with the release of iOS 6, added the missing functionality to other countries.[17][18]

After announcing that Siri is included with the iPhone 4S, Apple removed the existing Siri app (which ran on all iPhone models) from the App Store.[19]

In October 2011, independent developers stated that they had ported Siri into the other iOS devices.[20][21] However, some news sites suggest that the videos posted by the developers as "proof" only show the user interface of the Siri software, and not the voice commands, implying that developers have not been able to port the application with full functionality.[22] However, new reports from January 2012 suggest that independent developers have succeeded in porting Siri to earlier iPhone models, the iPod Touch, and iPad. i4Siri.com, a United States based team, have demonstrated Siri working as intended on the iPhone 4, iPod Touch, and iPad, communicating without the Apple servers.[23]

In later January 2012, independent developers successfully created and distributed a legal port of Siri to older devices via Cydia.[24] The port, however, requires authorization keys from another iPhone 4S, which can be exploited in the form of a proxy server, or by transferring the Siri authorization file from an iPhone 4S.[25] Due to this requirement, developers have bypassed Apple's Siri server completely by creating their own backend using APIs from services such as Google and Wolfram Alpha.[26]

On June 11, 2012, at Apple's WWDC conference, Apple announced that Siri will be available on the iPad (third generation) beginning in late 2012 with the release of iOS 6. Also on June 11, 2012, at Apple's WWDC conference, Apple announced updates for Siri coming in iOS 6 (which launched in fall 2012.) These new features include: opening apps, telling sports scores and other sports related information, checking movie times, finding restaurants and also ordering reservations. Siri can also tell the height of sports players in iOS 6. It also brought some previously US only features, such as Google Maps and Yelp integration, international.

On September 12, 2012, Apple announced that Siri will also be on the iPhone 5[27] and the iPod Touch (fifth generation).[28]

Siri is also included on the iPad (fourth generation)[29] and iPad Mini.[30]

On June 13, 2013, Apple revealed that Siri will have a male voice option with the release of iOS 7.[31]

Currently, Siri is included on the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, 5th generation iPod Touch, 3rd generation iPad, 4th generation iPad, iPad Air, and all iPad Minis.

Research and development[edit]

Siri is a spin-out from the SRI International Artificial Intelligence Center, and is an offshoot of the DARPA-funded CALO project.[32][33] Siri was co-founded by SRI's Dag Kittlaus (CEO) and Adam Cheyer (VP Engineering) and by Tom Gruber (CTO).[34]

Siri's primary technical areas focus on a Conversational Interface, Personal Context Awareness, and Service Delegation.[35]

Siri's speech recognition engine is provided by Nuance Communications, a speech technology company, although this was not officially acknowledged by either Apple or Nuance until AllThingsD Conference (2013).[36]

The original Siri application relied upon a number of partners, including:

The sources in Apple's implementation of Siri differ from the original iPhone application. It integrates with default iOS functionality, such as contacts, calendars and text messages. It also supports search from Google, Bing, Yahoo, Wolfram Alpha, Google Maps, Yelp! and Wikipedia.

Siri also contains numerous pre-programmed responses to conversational and amusing questions. These are designed to provide both an entertainment factor and give Siri human-like qualities. [39]

Voice actors[edit]

The original American voice was provided by Susan Bennett in July 2005.[40] Reports that the voice was provided by Alison Dufty were incorrect.[41]

The British male voice is called "Daniel" and is voiced by Jon Briggs, a former technology journalist. The voice was recorded for Scansoft, which had merged with Nuance Communications in October 2005, although Apple has never confirmed any involvement of Nuance with Siri.[42]

The Australian female voice is called "Karen" and is voiced by Karen Jacobsen, an Australian-born and New York-based entertainer, singer, voiceover artist, and songwriter.[43] Jacobsen is also the Australian voice in GPS navigation devices for Garmin, Mio, Navman, and TomTom.[44]

Vehicle integration[edit]

In June 2012, former Apple SVP Scott Forstall announced that Apple had been in discussions with automobile manufacturers and companies to get Siri integration as part of a scheme called "Siri Eyes Free" mode to provided eyes and hands-free operation, stating that Siri could be in vehicles in as soon as 11 months.

The day following the announcement of this unprecedented collaboration between Apple and automobile manufacturers, Harman International Industries's stock immediately fell by 15%, given Harman's substantial revenue sources from providing GPS, Navigation, and Telematics systems for vehicles, many in particular manufactured by companies partnering with Apple.

At WWDC 2013, Apple's Eddy Cue announced a new system called "iOS in the Car" aimed at integrating Siri and other iOS functions more fully into native in-car systems, like satellite navigation (Satnav) and music playback, which was later renamed CarPlay by Apple on March 3, 2014.

Reception[edit]

Siri was met with critical acclaim for its ease of use and practicality, as well as its apparent "personality". However, issues did arise when Siri was used by consumers from areas with distinct accents. Google's executive chairman and former chief, Eric Schmidt, has conceded that Siri could pose a "competitive threat" to the company's core search business.[45]

Writing in The Guardian, journalist Charlie Brooker considered Siri's personality to be unpleasantly servile, but found that the software worked "annoyingly well".[46] Siri was criticized by organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and NARAL Pro-Choice America after users found that it would not provide information about the location of birth control or abortion providers, sometimes directing users to pro-life crisis pregnancy centers instead. Apple responded that this was a glitch which would be fixed in the final version.[47]

Siri has not been well received by some English speakers with distinctive accents, including Scottish[48] and Americans from Boston or the South.[49][50] Apple's Siri FAQ states that, "as more people use Siri and it's exposed to more variations of a language, its overall recognition of dialects and accents will continue to improve, and Siri will work even better."[1]

Despite many functions still requiring the use of the touchscreen, the National Federation of the Blind describes the iPhone as "the only fully accessible handset that a blind person can buy".[51]

In March 2012, Frank M. Fazio filed a class action lawsuit against Apple on behalf of the people who felt misled about the capabilities of Siri and failing to function as depicted in Apple's Siri commercials. Fazio filed the lawsuit in California and claimed that the iPhone 4S is merely a "more expensive iPhone" if Siri fails to function as advertised.[52][53] On July 22, 2013 U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken in San Francisco dismissed the suit but said the plaintiffs could amend at a later time. The reason given for dismissal was that plaintiffs did not sufficiently document enough misrepresentations by Apple for the trial to proceed.[54]

In March 2012, the American Civil Liberties Union expressed concern that Siri was sending a large amount of personal voice and user information to Apple, including the first name and nickname of the phone owner and his or her contacts, the owner's relationship with those contacts, personal labels assigned to email accounts, and the names of songs and playlists stored on the phone.[55]

Siri and Apple maps together were viewed as "flops" by the media in April 2012.[56][57][58][59] In October 2012, Scott Forstall, Apple's head of mobile software, and the leader held responsible for Siri and the poorly received Apple Maps, was let go from Apple.[57][58][60]

On October 30, 2012, Google released a new Google Search app for iOS, which featured an enhanced Google Voice Search function and aimed to compete with Siri.[61] Google's Voice Search was compared favorably to Siri, with some reviewers preferring it.[62] The Unofficial Apple Weblog's side-by-side comparison said that Google's Voice Search on iOS is "amazingly quick and relevant, and has more depth [than Siri]".[63]

Supported languages[edit]

Language Region iOS version[64]
English United States United States 5.0 onwards
United Kingdom United Kingdom 5.0 onwards
Australia Australia 5.0 onwards
Canada Canada 6.0 onwards
French France France 5.0 onwards
Canada Canada 6.0 onwards
Switzerland Switzerland 6.0 onwards
German Germany Germany 5.0 onwards
Switzerland Switzerland 6.0 onwards
Japanese Japan Japan 5.1 onwards
Spanish Spain Spain 6.0 onwards
Mexico Mexico 6.0 onwards
United States United States 6.0 onwards
Italian Italy Italy 6.0 onwards
Switzerland Switzerland 6.0 onwards
Korean South Korea South Korea 6.0 onwards
Mandarin China China 6.0 onwards
Taiwan Taiwan 6.0 onwards
Cantonese Hong Kong Hong Kong 6.0 onwards

International versions[edit]

According to sources from Brazilian site Techguru, Nuance Communications has delivered the final version in Portuguese to Apple. It also announced that the company would be making a deal with the bank Bradesco to provide an application similar to Siri for voice support.[65]

Geographic limitations[edit]

In Siri's original release its functionality was limited in most countries, with maps and local search with help only being available within the United States. For example, asking Siri in the United Kingdom to list local businesses, to navigate somewhere, or to give traffic information, elicits the reply "I can only look for businesses, maps and traffic in the United States, and when you're using U.S. English. Sorry about that." Using Siri within the United States with the British English voice (Daniel) elicits a similar response — despite the user's geographic location.[66] However, as of iOS 6, Siri now has functionality to find local businesses and other location services outside of the United States.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Apple — Siri — Frequently Asked Questions". Apple. October 4, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "iPhone 4S — Ask Siri to help you get things done". Apple. Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  3. ^ "How Apple's Siri got her name". Theweek.com. March 29, 2012. Retrieved June 25, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Scoble, Robert (April 28, 2010). "Breaking News: Siri bought by Apple". Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  5. ^ Hay, Timothy (February 5, 2010). "Siri Inc. Launches 'Do Engine' Application For iPhone". Dow Jones Newswire. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Apple Launches iPhone 4S, iOS 5 & iCloud". Apple. October 4, 2011. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  7. ^ Murph, Darren (October 4, 2011). "iPhone 4S hands-on!". Engadget. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 
  8. ^ "iOS: About Siri". Apple Support. Apple Inc. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "Apple — iPad — Compare iPad models.". Apple, Inc. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  10. ^ "Siri Personal Assistant: A Voice App That Lets You Speak to OpenTable". OpenTable. February 19, 2010. Retrieved December 23, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Siri for iPhone is like the proverbial Genie in a bottle". TUAW. February 5, 2010. Retrieved December 23, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Siri iPhone App Uses Speech-Recognition Technology To Organize Your Social Life". Gizmodo. February 5, 2010. Retrieved December 23, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Siri: Your Personal Assistant for the Mobile Web". ReadWriteWeb. February 4, 2010. Retrieved December 23, 2011. 
  14. ^ "The Original Siri App Gets Pulled From The App Store, Servers To Be Killed". TechCrunch. October 4, 2011. Retrieved December 23, 2011. 
  15. ^ Ask Siri "What day is October 4" and she responds with the day in the current year and appends "(Siri's birthday)"
  16. ^ "Apple iPhone 4S event: as it happened". Telegraph.co.uk. May 31, 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  17. ^ Viticci, Federico (September 27, 2011). "Apple Officially Unveils Siri Voice Assistant - Supports English, French and German". Macstories.net. Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  18. ^ Viticci, Federico (October 14, 2011). "There Are Some Siri Limitations Outside The US". Macstories.net. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  19. ^ Sullivan, Danny (October 4, 2011). "With New Siri Promised For iPhone 4S, Apple Pulls Existing Siri From App Store". Retrieved June 19, 2012. 
  20. ^ Gurman, Mark (October 14, 2011). "Siri voice command system ported from iPhone 4S to iPhone 4 (video)". 9to5Mac.com. Retrieved October 31, 2011. 
  21. ^ Omar, Ahmed (October 15, 2011). "Siri Ported Successfully To The iPhone 4 (VIDEO)". CydiaHelp.com. Retrieved October 31, 2011. 
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  23. ^ Mark Gurman. "Siri hacked to fully run on the iPhone 4 and iPod touch, iPhone 4S vs iPhone 4 Siri showdown video (interview) — 9to5Mac — Apple Intelligence". 9to5Mac. Retrieved October 31, 2011. 
  24. ^ Perez, Sarah (December 27, 2011). "Spire: A New Legal Siri Port For Any iOS 5 Device". Techcrunch. Retrieved January 23, 2012. 
  25. ^ Paul, Grant (December 22, 2011). "Spire Proxy "FAQ"". Retrieved May 6, 2012. 
  26. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (April 21, 2012). "‘AssistantServer Installer’ brings half baked Siri experience to older iOS devices". iDownloadBlog. Retrieved May 6, 2012. 
  27. ^ Baig, Edward C. (September 18, 2012). "Review: Apple iPhone 5 in front of the smartphone pack". USA Today. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  28. ^ Warren, Christina (September 12, 2012). "New iPod Touch Has Siri, Larger Screen". Mashable. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
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  31. ^ http://www.ibtimes.com/apple-reveals-siri-will-now-have-male-voice-option-ios-7-release-1307167
  32. ^ "ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology (ACM TIST)"{{inconsistent citations}} 
  33. ^ Berry, Pauline M.; Gervasio, Melinda; Peintner, Bart; Yorke-Smith, Neil (July 2011). "PTIME: Personalized assistance for calendaring". Acm Tist 2 (4): 1. doi:10.1145/1989734.1989744{{inconsistent citations}} 
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  41. ^ http://www.refinery29.com/2013/09/54029/iphone-siri-voice-alison-dufty
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  46. ^ Brooker, Charlie (December 1, 2011). "Charlie Brooker: the dark side of our gadget addiction". The Guardian (London). Retrieved December 2, 2011. 
  47. ^ Howard, Greg; Voorhees, Josh (December 1, 2011). "Apple Says Siri's Abortion-Clinic Blind Spot Wasn't Intentional". Slate. 
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  56. ^ Blodget, Henry - Frankly, It's Concerning That Apple Is Still Advertising A Product As Flawed As Siri. Business Insider, April 20, 2012
  57. ^ a b Rodriguez, Salvador - Apple ousts Scott Forstall, executive in charge of Maps and Siri. Los Angeles Times, October 29, 2012. Quote:" Apple's head of mobile software, Scott Forstall, is leaving the company following the release of Apple Maps and Siri, two major projects that were considered flops for the technology giant."
  58. ^ a b Burn-Callendar, Rebecca - Apple chiefs for the chop after Maps fiasco. Management Today, October 30, 2012. Quote:" Alas for Forstall, Siri’s dulcet tones were never much more than a gimmick for users, and has widely been considered a flop."
  59. ^ Apple’s iOS Boss, Scott Forstall asked to leave Apple for not Signing Apology Letter Tech Mania, October 2012
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  62. ^ "Google Voice Search Reviews". Collected Critics. November 17, 2012. 
  63. ^ "Siri vs Google Voice Search - May the Best Robot Helper Win". TUAW. November 1, 2012. 
  64. ^ "iOS - Siri". Apple. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  65. ^ "EXCLUSIVO: Nuance já entregou o Siri em português para a Apple, e está trabalhando em um grande projeto para o Bradesco…" (in Portuguese). Techguru. January 7, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  66. ^ "iOS 6 - What's New". Apple. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 

External links[edit]