Siri development team one of the largest groups at Apple

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
The personality and sense of humor of Siri, the new voice control technology found in the iPhone 4S, was a carefully thought out decision made by one of the largest software teams at Apple.



The work behind Siri was profiled over the weekend by The Wall Street Journal. It revealed that the group of employees who created Siri have worked to make the artificial intelligence's responses "forge an emotional tie with customers."



"To that end, Siri regularly uses a customer's nickname in responses, as well as those of other important people and places in his or her life," the report said, citing an anonymous source at Apple who worked on the project. The goal was to make Siri seem like a person on the phone.



The Siri development team focused on keeping the software "friendly and humble -- but also with an edge." For example, telling Siri that you need to "hide a body" will have the AI provide a list of options, including mines and swamps.



Asking Siri "Who's your daddy?" earns "You are," in response. And quoting the movie "2001" with "Open the pod bay doors," will receive an in-kind response of "I'm afraid I can't do that," with Siri playing the role of the computer HAL 9000. Sometimes Siri follows up the quote with "We intelligent agents will never live that down, apparently."



Siri started off as an application for the iPhone available on the App Store. The software so impressed Apple that the company bought Siri for $200 million in April of 2010, and began integrating it into the iPhone 4S.







Siri is one of the defining features of the iPhone 4S released last Friday. Using it, users can speak to their handset in natural language, using it to dictate a text message or e-mail, make a phone call, set alarms or reminders, or even search for local restaurants and sort them by popularity.



The "sass" from Siri stems from the system's ability to interpret the meaning behind a user's request. Norman Winarsky, co-founder of Siri, told the Journal that before the software was bought by Apple, the goal was for Siri to have an "occasionally light attitude" when responding to users.







For more, see AppleInsider's first look at using the iPhone 4S with Siri voice assistant, complete with videos of the software in action.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    The name I am most curious about is Mark Zuckerberg. Was he invited?



    If so, this might impact the Apple-Facebook relationship in a positive way.
  • Reply 2 of 49
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


    The name I am most curious about is Mark Zuckerberg. Was he invited?



    If so, this might impact the Apple-Facebook relationship in a positive way.



    Did you mean to post that on the memorial thread?
  • Reply 3 of 49
    Siri needs access to more databases. It would be awesome if it used whatever database was in IBM Watson.
  • Reply 4 of 49
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    Apple's decision to limit Siri to their most profitable product was brilliant.



    A compelling new feature, exclusive to the big bux model is the best way to get existing customers to cough up more money for a new phone.



    Apple never ceases to amaze me. I expect their profits to increase greatly with the introduction of the 4S.
  • Reply 5 of 49
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post


    Apple's decision to limit Siri to their most profitable product was brilliant.



    A compelling new feature, exclusive to the big bux model is the best way to get existing customers to cough up more money for a new phone.



    Apple never ceases to amaze me. I expect their profits to increase greatly with the introduction of the 4S.



    Dude, this is the way it is in a commercialized society. Apple has to sell and sell all the time. Look at the Android market. There are way more Android phone models than iphone. Apple is on its 5th phone while Android OEMS are on like their 50th!!!! LOL!

    SERI is a game changer because I believe it will be used all over iwork and ilife just to name a few.

    Man Apple has set itself up for at least 6 to 8 years of new tech growth with SRI. Moreover, I believe Apple's stock will pass $600.00 a share by the time iphone 5 drops. Maybe by the time ipad 3 hots the shelves.
  • Reply 6 of 49
    I'm still using a Sony Ericsson K800i...it's probably time to change.
  • Reply 7 of 49
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 646member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post


    Siri needs access to more databases. It would be awesome if it used whatever database was in IBM Watson.



    Or if it could access any apps running in the background on your phone. I was wishing all weekend I could ask it the score of a football game and have it reply, without having to open the ESPN app.
  • Reply 8 of 49
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,105member
    On the whole I've enjoyed using Siri, I was really happy that the voice used out here in the UK is different to one on the keynote demo..... Much nicer somehow, less computerised.



    The only issue I've had is when I ask it to call a contact where I've only entered in the forename, this is especially true for Vicky. Siri correctly picks up that I've said Vicky, searches my address book and offers me three names from my contact list, two of which have surnames and then asks me which Vicky.



    When I simply repeat Vicky it waits for two seconds and then bleeps to tell me it does not understand.... come on Siri, even if you did not pick up that I said Vicky you asked me a question. Out of 3 options two have two words and the one has one word, as I only said one word your little brain should assume I meant for you to call/text the contact with just one name!
  • Reply 9 of 49
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by airnerd View Post


    Or if it could access any apps running in the background on your phone. I was wishing all weekend I could ask it the score of a football game and have it reply, without having to open the ESPN app.



    This requires setting up many partnership agreements, which may in part explain the beta status. Many companies are likely pitching to Apple right at this moment. Would Apple pay SI or ESPN for scores, or would they pay Apple? Knowing Apple, it would be the latter.
  • Reply 10 of 49
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by saarek View Post


    On the whole I've enjoyed using Siri, I was really happy that the voice used out here in the UK is different to one on the keynote demo..... Much nicer somehow, less computerised.



    The only issue I've had is when I ask it to call a contact where I've only entered in the forename, this is especially true for Vicky. Siri correctly picks up that I've said Vicky, searches my address book and offers me three names from my contact list, two of which have surnames and then asks me which Vicky.



    When I simply repeat Vicky it waits for two seconds and then bleeps to tell me it does not understand.... come on Siri, even if you did not pick up that I said Vicky you asked me a question. Out of 3 options two have two words and the one has one word, as I only said one word your little brain should assume I meant for you to call/text the contact with just one name!



    The response makes sense since you in no way refined the search criteria for Siri to use, so stop fussing and start communicating! You're one of those folks that when asked for directions waves vaguely off in a directions and says, "thataway - over there" aren't you



    That all being said - let's remember that Apple, which are careful in setting expectations emphasized that Siri is still beta delivery. There is huge potential here to tap and Apple taps potential slowly and deliberately - no matter how fast or robust us tech geeks want it to happen!



    EDIT: One other point, while the Accessibility settings are really good for the iPhone, Siri takes it to a whole other level for blind users.
  • Reply 11 of 49
    shogunshogun Posts: 360member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post


    Siri needs access to more databases. It would be awesome if it used whatever database was in IBM Watson.



    I asked it last week, "Siri, what time do the Tigers play tonight?" I meant the Detroit Tigers, of course, in the playoffs. Siri had no idea what I was talking about. Okay fine. So I got more specific, explaining baseball, saying playoffs, saying sports team. Nothing.



    Yeah, so more databases. I would think that sports schedules and scores would be an easy, useful, and obvious section of data to incorporate.



    Yes, I told apple at /feedback...
  • Reply 12 of 49
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 646member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Harbinger View Post


    This requires setting up many partnership agreements, which may in part explain the beta status. Many companies are likely pitching to Apple right at this moment. Would Apple pay SI or ESPN for scores, or would they pay Apple? Knowing Apple, it would be the latter.



    Seems like both would be ok with letting each other piggyback for free. Think about it, the more people that use SIRI the more popular it becomes and the more phones Apple can sell based on that ONE aspect. I know people buy for more reasons, but the more cool things you can have proprietary to your product the better. Then if ESPN can say "Download our sportcenter app and it will work with SIRI", then they get more downloads and useage. Win win for both, so why not piggyback for free.



    The more info I can get from Siri, the more likely I am to use it. The more people Apple lets in the door for free, the more companies that will spend money making it compatible.
  • Reply 13 of 49
    pendergastpendergast Posts: 1,358member
    Siri threatened to report me to "the intelligence agent's union" for "harassment" after I repeatedly told it to open the pod bay doors.



    I quickly apologized and all was good.
  • Reply 14 of 49
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 646member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shogun View Post


    I asked it last week, "Siri, what time do the Tigers play tonight?" I meant the Detroit Tigers, of course, in the playoffs. Siri had no idea what I was talking about. Okay fine. So I got more specific, explaining baseball, saying playoffs, saying sports team. Nothing.



    Yeah, so more databases. I would think that sports schedules and scores would be an easy, useful, and obvious section of data to incorporate.



    Yes, I told apple at /feedback...



    Did Siri comeback and say "next season, because the Rangers won"? LOL, j/k with you. That was a GREAT GREAT GREAT series and have nothing but respect for Leyland and your team.
  • Reply 15 of 49
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,142member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maccherry View Post


    Dude, this is the way it is in a commercialized society. Apple has to sell and sell all the time. Look at the Android market. There are way more Android phone models than iphone. Apple is on its 5th phone while Android OEMS are on like their 50th!!!! LOL!

    SERI is a game changer because I believe it will be used all over iwork and ilife just to name a few.

    Man Apple has set itself up for at least 6 to 8 years of new tech growth with SRI. Moreover, I believe Apple's stock will pass $600.00 a share by the time iphone 5 drops. Maybe by the time ipad 3 hots the shelves.



    Here's hoping



    I'm counting down to $1000 a share in a few years.
  • Reply 16 of 49
    trevctrevc Posts: 77member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by airnerd View Post


    I was wishing all weekend I could ask it the score of a football game and have it reply, without having to open the ESPN app.



    Never thought about stuff like this, you'd think if they could implement traffic, that this would actually be fairly easy for the major professional sports (NFL, NHL, NBA, etc., etc.)



    Now I'm excited. I'm in Canada and it's use is fairly limited now, but....
  • Reply 17 of 49
    nhtnht Posts: 4,429member
    In response to "What is the traffic like today?" question Siri could simply answer "It sucks like usual" for my region.
  • Reply 18 of 49
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post


    Siri needs access to more databases. It would be awesome if it used whatever database was in IBM Watson.



    Yes, it would be awesome if it accessed Watson. Watson (as it came across on Jeopardy, anyway) seems to have been tailored for something like Siri. (Especially in terms of its speed.) And access to other apps, as has been mentioned, although I expect this will eventually come.



    Apple might consider a simple thumbs up/thumbs down button for Siri allowing users to rate the answers. I know they don't want to clutter up the interface but it seems they could use a stream of real-time feedback.
  • Reply 19 of 49
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trevc View Post


    Never thought about stuff like this, you'd think if they could implement traffic, that this would actually be fairly easy for the major professional sports (NFL, NHL, NBA, etc., etc.)



    Now I'm excited. I'm in Canada and it's use is fairly limited now, but....



    I think it is just a matter of time before it works, or someone finds a way to "push to siri". I can understand some things not being able to work, but when you have an app that is running it seems like eventually SIRI will be able to read the data in that app.
  • Reply 20 of 49
    What is the difference between Siri and Nuance? I hear "Siri, powered by Nuance." What does that mean? Doesn't Siri do the entire package? Where does Siri end and Nuance begin?
Sign In or Register to comment.