Siri is the most talked about technology thing for the past 2 weeks. There are Siri admirers, there are Siri imitators and there are Siri jokes. No matter what, Siri has achieved what it was set out to achieve. In fact Siri is the reason why many of the voice apps like Iris, Vlingo and the Google Voice Commands are seeing a renewed interest.
So how is Siri different from any other voice apps out there?
Context is the most important thing in any communication. More so in voice communication. Just to put what context means in Siri’s context, hear what the lead developer of Siri has to say :
Tell another system to “Book at table at Il Fornaio at 7:00 with my mom” the system can no doubt create a calendar entry at 7:00 and might even know who your mom is. It might even be possible for that device to figure out the closest Il Fornaio restaurant. What differentiates the NLP logic in Siri is that it will maintain context so you could say: “Also send her an email reminder.” Siri will understand ‘her’ and compose the email accordingly.
Calling someone and then telling the system to ‘also email her the details’ are two different things and this is what humans are capable of. And now Siri can put things into context too.
Update : Here’s the video of Siri and how it remembers the context
Not AI but NLP
Siri, as everyone thinks, isn’t AI at its best. But it is natural language processing coupled with context at its best.
Siri is basically a contextual, semantic, personalized search engine. We affectionately called it a “Do” engine. A search engine can evaluate text strings and look for matching results. A “Do” engine maintains awareness of the user and everything it knows about that user and processes strings in the context of the user.
Is Siri superior to any of the voice apps out there?