When we interviewed Siri co-founder Norman Winarsky in the week before the Siri announcement, he said that Apple’s foray into ‘mainstreaming the Virtual Personal Assistant’ would be the next step in human interfaces. Keyboard, Mouse, Touch Screen, and now Voice. A World-Changing event.

Make no mistake: Apple’s ‘mainstreaming’ Artificial Intelligence in the form of a Virtual Personal Assistant is a groundbreaking event. I’d go so far as to say it is a World-Changing event. Right now a few people dabble in partial AI enabled apps like Google Voice Actions, Vlingo or Nuance Go. Siri was many iterations ahead of these technologies, or at least it was two years ago. This is REAL AI with REAL market use. If the rumors are true, Apple will enable millions upon millions of people to interact with machines with natural language. The PAL will get things done and this is only the tip of the iceberg. We’re talking another technology revolution. A new computing paradigm shift.

With some customers getting their hands on their iPhone 4S early, there are some early Siri walkthroughs hitting the net, below:

A French user does a quick walkthrough (iTicker via MacRumors):

Apple’s Siri demo with Scott Forstall:

Stuff Magazine did a demo at the event (in Covent Garden Apple Store):

CNET:

CBS Evening News:

What’s your take? Has Apple done it again?

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