Many users and technology pundits are wondering why Siri should be different from other voice recognition apps on other platforms, like the voice recognition features on Android and Windows Phone 7.
The thing that makes Siri really special is about what happens after the voice command has been turned into text.
E.g., tell another system to “Book at table at Il Formaggio at 8:00 with my sister” – the system can no doubt create a calendar entry at 8:00 and might even know who your sister is. It might even be possible for that device to figure out the closest Il Formaggio restaurant.
What differentiates Siri is that it will maintain context so you could say: “Also send her an email reminder.” Siri will understand ‘her’ and compose the email accordingly.
Sounds like Artificial Intelligence, doesn’t it?
Well, it’s not really AI.
Siri is basically a contextual, semantic, personalized search engine. Apple affectionately calls it a “Do” engine. A search engine can evaluate text strings and look for matching results. A “Do” engine maintains awareness of the user and everything it knows about that user and processes strings in the context of the user.
One interesting part of Siri is its ability to utilize five or six translations of a voice command to determine what the user is trying to say. When trying to recognize the name of a restaurant such as “Il Formaggio” the voice recognition engine will typically return several possible matches, as these are not simple words in the dictionary. The recognition engine might see these as lower confidence scores in a direct voice translation, but in the context of a user, his surroundings and behavior, they may change their rank.
BTW: Siri is now actually starring in its first TV ad. You can see it below.
If you want to dig deeper into Siri, I recommend you to read the following article => “The impact of Apple’s Siri release” on Vectorform Labs.