Siri is a Virtual Personal Assistant - a new way to interact with the Internet on your mobile phone. Like a real assistant, Siri helps you get things done. You interact with Siri by just saying, in your own words, what you want to do. You can ask Siri to find a romantic place for dinner, and get reservations for Saturday night. You can discover things to do over the weekend, get tickets to the movies, or call a cab when you’re out on the town. You don't have to search through a bunch of web pages, following links and hunting down facts. Siri does all the work giving you the information you need at your fingertips.
Years in the making, Siri is born out of SRI's CALO Project, the largest Artificial Intelligence project in U.S. history. (CALO stands for Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes). Made possible by a $150 million DARPA investment, the CALO Project included 25 research organizations and institutions and spanned 5 years. Siri is bringing the benefits of this technology to the public, in the first mainstream consumer application of a virtual personal assistant.
Virtual Personal Assistants (VPAs) represent the next generation interaction paradigm for the Internet. In today's paradigm, we follow links on portals, feeds, and search results. With a VPA, we interact by having a conversation. We tell the assistant what we want to do, in our own words, and it applies multiple services and information sources to help accomplish our task. If the assistant does not understand completely, it asks for clarification. If it cannot find a solution from available sources, it offers alternatives. Like a real assistant, a VPA is personal: it uses information about the individual's preferences and history of interaction to help solve their specific tasks, and it gets better with experience.
Siri will launch later this summer so you’ll be able to download the Siri iPhone app later this summer.
- Technology Review - Emerging Technologies 2009: Intelligent Software Assistant
- Nova Spivack - Sneak Preview of Siri – The Virtual Assistant that will Make Everyone Love the iPhone