Siri!


Get ready to yell more. Thought you were annoyed by the glow of people texting in a darkened theater? Just wait for them audibly talking, shouting, whispering, yammering into their phones. It’s coming soon.


Apple’s just-announced iPhone 4S is coming loaded with Assistant, supposedly the world’s most advanced consumer artificial intelligence (AI). Supergeeks will cry foul that their Android phones have something similar, but we know Apple’s finesse and ability to make consumers swoon. And if Phil Schiller’s demonstration was any guide, it’s pretty damn amazing. I joke that the implementation of the feature may be a public annoyance, but there’s no doubt that I’m impressed.

Here are just a few quick examples from today’s announcement that portend the coming technology:

“Wake me up tomorrow at 6am.”  iPhone sets alarm and confirms.
“How’s the NASDAQ doing today”. iPhone brings up stock chart.
“Find me a Greek restaurant in Palo Alto.” iPhone brings up options.
“Give me directions to Hoover Tower” iPhone brings up map and directions.

– Siri can read text messages aloud, check appointment calendar, and take down dictated response.
“Remind me to call my wife when I leave work.”  iPhone sets up a geofence to alert Scott when he leaves the campus.
“Search Wikipedia for Neil Armstrong.” Info page pops up.
“Define ‘mitosis’.”  iPhone checks WolframAlpha. Same for currency conversions.
– Siri includes lists of example requests to help users learn.

We can all agree we are officially living in the future now, right? Geofences, Hal 9000 similarities, Right? This is getting pretty ridiculous.

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