A very interesting rumor about the iPhone 5 has been going around. It involves a little AI called Siri. The news, first circulated by TechCrunch, involves Apple's purchase last year of the artificial intelligence, which takes the form of a virtual personal assistant. Either they've been sitting on the technology since its acquisition, or they were simply waiting for the right moment to announce how they plan to put it to use.
Knowing Apple, it's probably the latter.
"You’re busy. Between meetings, social events, and hopefully a workout
or two, your schedule’s packed. Don’t you wish you could hand off simple
tasks so you could have more time to play? That’s why we built Siri. Because we believe everyone could use an
assistant. Because we believe there’s a simpler way to get things done. Just like a real assistant, Siri understands what you say, accomplishes tasks for you and adapts to your preferences over time." (Siri.com).
Siri, originally developed as an iPhone app, was the first product created by a company of the same name; one which focuses exclusively on artificial intelligence. In April 2010, Siri evidently caught Apple's eye, and they purchased the product off of the company for their own use. The original app was pretty much what was written on the box- a virtual assistant that helped you figure out what movies to watch, suggested restaurants, found available taxi services, et-cetera.
How it worked was that it connected to Siri's servers on the web, which included a wide array of information services such as Taximagic and Rotten Tomatoes. What's more, Siri's designers promise that "right now, Siri’s learning how to handle reminders, flights stats and
reference questions. Our vision is that, over time, you’ll trust Siri to
manage many personal details in your life - from recommending a wine
you might enjoy to managing your to do list."(Siri.com)
Talk To Your Phone
It seems pretty clear what all this means when you put everything together. Though things aren't quite set in stone yet, Apple's evidently looking to completely integrate Siri into the iPhone 5. This innovation takes mobile communication to a whole new level- If Siri evolves along the lines that its creators have planned for it, it'll be more than just an information service, or a passive virtual assistant- it'll be a full blown entity. Your phone will be able to independently manage your schedule, organize your to do list, and remind you of important appointments, all the while responding to your questions and concerns much as a human secretary might.
Very cool indeed- I'm quite interested in seeing how this will turn out. We'll find out more at the Apple Worldwide Developer's Conference, scheduled for June 6-10 in San Francisco.Until then, we'll just have to be patient.