Since its launch in the iPhone 4S, Siri has become a phenomenon. Siri is a revolutionary consumer software product based on breakthroughs in speech and artificial intelligence technology. There is no doubt in our minds that Apple will continue to advance the Siri, technology, and will create new breakthroughs in the virtual personal assistant (VPA) category overall.
“Siri is just the first step in realizing the ultimate virtual personal assistant vision. This post first outlines what we think Siri’s legacy will be, and then gives the broad strokes of what will mark the next phase(s) of VPA innovation” say Norman Winarsky , Vice President of Ventures and Bill Mark , Vice President of the Information Computing Sciences Division at SRI International.
Technologically speaking, Siri’s true impact is seen in the new bar it set for what we call “practical natural language understanding.” Using speech instead of keyboards to communicate with computers is an old dream, but it took more than thirty years to achieve the robustness and performance needed to make speech systems practical for consumers.