Latest offering from Apple, Siri virtual assistant is all set to change all these previous notions and make a place for itself among people from all age sectors, all professions and all diversities thereby making it indispensable, irreplaceable and irresistible.
What is Siri virtual assistant?
Siri is an application which has been built on iOS (previously, iPhoneOS) which is Apple’s mobile operating system . It is an application which is more like a friend – cum – personal assistant and less of an app. It is a perfect example of how machines will always remain men’s slaves, quite contradictory of many peoples’ views. In short, the user can talk to Siri, ask it to search something or ask it to complete a task like messaging. Siri, will in turn understand this and respond accordingly by doing the required action.
How Siri works?
Siri is very similar in the basic architecture to the normal voice recognition systems and works on a platform known as natural language processing. It is claimed to have an artificial intelligence element which not only recognizes, processes and give the most suitable output but also modifies its search results. For its searching and completion task, it uses the help of several partners, including Google, Bing, Yelp, MovieTickets, ReserveTravel, Eventful. These different generic as well as specialized search engines come into picture depending on the type of task assigned and type of information required. With this kind of specialized as well as customized search many analysts fear that Siri may turn out to be a big threat to Google’s search engine.
Even Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google and an ex board of member of Apple Inc., has given a press statement quoting Siri as one of the best innovations in search. One important thing to note is that contradictory to normal belief, Siri has not been developed by Apple but by SRI International which was later taken over by Apple. Initially it was just an app built on the Apple mobile platform iOS and was available in the Apple store. Its present availability after it was taken over by Apple.
How can one use Siri?
Siri is now an integrated part of iOS 5 and available only on the iPhone 4S for now which was launched in October 2011 in U.S.A. but there have been claims from independent developers that they have also been successful in using Siri on iPhone 4, iPod Touch and iPad. Yet, Apple has negated the fact of bringing Siri to older iDevises, the reason seems to be because of the hardware changes in iPhone 4S (mainly in the proximity server).
Siri Associated issues
But then, Siri has not exactly been a smooth ride for all the users. On the Apple website, under the user forums there are innumerable entries mentioning the incompetency of Siri to understand their words and commands . There have been other reports also mentioning about bugs faced by users across the American continent. There have been times when the Siri assistant was not available at all due to outage.
Another challenge that Siri might face is from its Android counterpart – Speaktoit. This is also an app with almost all the features as Siri, some more and few less. There has been a reported 400% increase in the number of downloads of Speaktoit to more than 3000 per day since the news of Siri integration with iPhone 4S.
Keeping aside the reports and grievances faces by the users and the competition, Siri is definitely all set to make a revolution in the way we search and use our mobiles. Very soon, those who seem to be talking to themselves, will not be considered fools or crazy, but a new wave of respect will rise for them for owning the all new iPhone 4S.
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