Siri: is the future talking to our computers?

Though I still have the iPhone 4, I’ve been able to play around with Siri on the iPhone 4s over the past few days.  I’m impressed, but more by what Siri represents than its current functionality. While the voice recognition is great, Siri is the foundation for mobile artificial intelligence.

Right now, Siri clearly uses canned responses. But amazingly, Siri feels like a real person. Ask her personal questions, or even the meaning of life, and you will hear back real answers and be able to converse to some extent.  Siri’s main value right now, in my opinion, is its ability to filter and navigate through a sea of data and information on the web.  I’m not sure how frequently people will use Siri in its current state, but what is exciting is the feeling that Siri marks the beginning of a whole new era. Siri represents a new model for how we interact with apps and in turn, how they interact with us. 

I see Siri spreading across all parts of life in the future. Today, you can ask Siri to remind you to pick up your dry cleaning as you get in your car and head home, and Siri will. In the long term, I see Siri being able to look in your calendar and at lunchtime, see that you are free, and recommend a great restaurant nearby that is offering a special dish that you absolutely love. Maybe Siri even knows that your good friend is nearby and also free for lunch, so the two of you can meet up for a quick bite. Siri will get to know you specifically and add personalized value far beyond simple tasks and reminders. 

In the future, Siri might extend into your home and other technologies or material objects. You may even be able to tell Siri to lock your car door and turn on the alarm to your house. In the very near future, I hope to see Siri in Apple TV. It will completely replace the need for a remote, and be an awesome use case. Imagine sitting on the couch and simply saying “Siri, turn on the newest Mordern Family,” or “Siri, turn on the Yankee playoff game.” I cant wait to see that. 

Will we ever be having conversational dialogues with our electronic devices? That I doubt. We talk to Siri for the purpose of fulfilling tasks and hearing answers to our questions, but its unlikely that Siri will be used in a manner comparable personal, human interaction. It once sounded crazy, but it looks like we really will be talking to computers in the future.  Just not with them. 


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