Happy 10th anniversary Siri! The artificial intelligence (AI) voice assistant was first introduced to Apple Inc. on October 4, 2011, as a software application for the iOS operating system. This speech recognition and voice control software is made to allow iPhone users to give commands verbally like “Do I need an Australian online casino bonus to get risk-free profits?” or “Remind me to call Aunt Sally tomorrow.”
Since its beginning as an app, Siri has grown into a stand-alone smart speaker – the Home Pod – and is now available for other devices such as smartphones and cars, paving the way for more smartphone makers and car manufacturers to adopt the technology in their products. And if that isn’t enough, it’s also still used as an intelligent personal assistant you can talk with through the text.
A Brief History of Siri
On October 4, 2011, Apple released the iPhone 4s, including Siri – an intelligent personal assistant that allows users to communicate with their phone using voice commands. To use Siri, users hold down a small button on the mobile device and order a command such as “Read my new messages” or “Set an alarm clock for 10 pm.” You can also use Siri to search for specific information like stocks, weather reports etc. This information is then spoken back to the user through a robotic voice. Siri also uses AI to learn more about users and their preferences which allows Siri to understand them better and respond to commands accurately, concisely, and in a helpful way.
Siri was first introduced when the commercial version of iOS 5 was released on October 12, 2011. Then, it had an interface similar to Apple’s voice assistant in its Mac Pro line: a woman’s robotic, computerized voice that spoke English in U.S. and British accents.
Some Controversies Around Siri
Although Apple launched Siri with much fanfare, it didn’t take long before people began to discover the limitations of Apple’s new personal assistant. For one thing, users are forced to speak in a specific “language” for Siri to understand and respond quickly. For example, it means that instead of talking naturally or even typing messages out, you have to re-write everything as if you were speaking words in a robot language.
This often results in frustrating situations when Siri either doesn’t understand what the user says or simply doesn’t want to cooperate. In addition, since it is an app that operates using voice commands through your phone, there is often a delay between the time when the command is given and when Siri responds. As a result, it can be pretty annoying if you’re in a rush and need an immediate response from Siri.
For the controversies, Apple found itself between a rock and a hard place and had to apologize when it was discovered that workers could listen to Siri voice recordings. Naturally, this drew huge controversy since Siri users weren’t aware of this. However, Apple was also forced to clarify that they were not recording any users’ conversations with their assistants.
Another controversy also arose involving Siri and its ability to answer questions regarding sexual content. It began after a web-based sex education company built a feature that allowed users to ask about various sex-related issues through voice commands. Apple quickly found itself in hot water when it was discovered that Siri would provide answers about topics such as oral sex or how to talk dirty during phone calls. While some believed this could be helpful for people who need specific information at the tips of their fingers, others felt it crossed an essential line since users had previously believed that Siri was utterly unable to access this kind of content.
How the Voice Assistant Has Evolved Over the Years
Today, Siri is more than just a voice assistant on Apple devices. Since its original debut in 2011, Siri has evolved and become more competent and more valuable over time. For example, in iOS 8, Siri was able to do many new things, such as:
- Allow users to search images through Bing or Google.
- Provide weather updates that include the chance of rain where applicable.
- Allow people to set their mood depending on how they feel using a feature called Siri Eyes Free.
- Select from multiple voices, which could be used by changing the language settings in one’s device preferences with iOS 9.
These features enhance Siri’s ability to work with third-party apps, allowing users to keep track of their schedules and accomplish tasks without switching between apps. With iOS 10, Apple made many enhancements designed to make Siri more accessible and valuable. For example, with this new version, people no longer have to say “Hey Siri” every time they want to use it since all you have to do now is raise your phone towards your face to activate it. At this point, Apple began rolling out multilingual capabilities, meaning that people could speak multiple languages through one device without being confused by the change in the language being used.
Some New Improvements of This Voice Assistant
In addition, Apple made personal assistants more intelligent to be more helpful to people by giving them suggestions for restaurants, movies, or other places to visit based on what the user was interested in. With iOS 11, Apple also introduced several changes to Siri, including making it compatible with various new languages and expanding its ability to answer questions through machine learning. It means that Siri would become even more intelligent as time goes on since it learns the questions its users often ask and gives accurate responses based upon previous searches.
Apple also further enhanced Siri’s voice recognition abilities so that it will be able to understand a wider variety of different dialects and accents. In addition, the company also rolled out different male voice assistants with American, Australian, and British accents.
Numerous technology companies have also used Siri as an inspiration for their voice-based assistants. They include Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana. It is interesting to note that all of these technologies were built independently, though they all came out around the same time in 2011. In addition, many other companies work with Siri:
- Uber: allows people to make requests through this assistant to order a car or receive information about their driver.
- Evernote: transcribe notes and share them with others.
- OpenTable: allows users to make restaurant reservations through Siri.
- IFTTT: a company that works with different connected devices and services, allowing users to create their own “recipes,” which can be activated through Siri.
Siri has come a long way, and we can’t predict what is next for voice assistants. Still, whatever it is, we can be sure that even as Apple is celebrating its 10th birthday, they will continue to make improvements for Siri to become even more valuable over time.