Siri, Apple's personal digital assistant debuted in 2011 with an impress list of capabilities, including natural language, context-aware voice parsing and sequential inference, so it could "remember" what you were talking about and continue to provide answers along the same subject. Reliability issues plagued the launch, but over time Apple migrated to their own technology and things improved. Siri also moved across the product line from iPhone to iPad to Apple Watch to Apple TV to, this year, the Mac.
Apple also added multiple languages in multiple regions, begun limited multiple concurrent language support, and most recently, opened Siri to developers with a half-dozen domain categories they can tap into.
But Google is coming on strong with Assistant, Amazon does gangbusters if you speak English in the U.S. or U.K. and never leave your living room, Samsung just bought Viv, and Microsoft still has Cortana.
What does Apple have to do to take the lead ... and reclaim your virtual helper heart?
- Add move domains, including podcast and music, so everything from Overcast to Spotify can tap in.
- Add "Hey, Siri!" and HomeKit support to the Mac.
- Add multiple concurrent language support to iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.
- Improve sequential inference so it never stops working mid-conversation.
- Allow for multiple related requests in a single command line ("turn on lights, make them blue at 10%, and turn off kitchen lights".)
- Enable direct text input for Siri so you can type any question, same as talking.
- Create an interface for correction so when Siri gets it wrong, you can help train it to get it right.
- Also create an error-reporting option like on Maps.
- Fill in gaps like turning on flashlight,
- Get a dedicated VP of Siri whose only job it is is to make the Siri experience delightfully gap-free.
- Celebrity voice packs. (What?!)
In other words, what would it take to make Siri not just an everyday part of your life, but the best damn digital assistant on the planet for you?
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