Feb 26, 2010


Talk into your iPhone and tell Siri what you want. Tickets for a show, reservations at a restaurant, a taxi to pick you up. Siri can arrange to get you what you need. Best of all, Siri learns what you want, and gets better at understanding your commands, just like a human assistant.

It was originally developed as part of DARPA’s CALO project and represents more than five years of research and refinement. The App is sophisticated enough to filter through a sentence and identify the relevant key words and know what to do. It understands to use GPS to determine what “in your area” means. It can handle most any command for six broad categories of interest: restaurants, movies, events, taxis, local information, and weather. Oh, did I mention it is free?
It can understand complicated commands that use unspecific key words. “I’d like a PG-13 movie near my house that’s funny and romantic.” Siri can handle that by using its patented algorithm to learn how to translate words and phrases into commands.

The Siri company has more than $24 million in funding and has plans to expand to include reminders, flight stats, reference questions, and many more tasks. It is currently only available for iPhone 3GS with OS 3.1, but it will eventually be offered for iPod Touch, iPhone 3G, and other smart phones.  I love technology.