intelligent assistants Stories May 30, 2016

When the original developers of Siri jumped ship to develop a competing intelligent assistant called Viv, they dismissed Apple’s implementation of their intelligent assistant as just ‘a clever AI chatbot.’ We’ve since heard that Apple plans to offer a Siri SDK that will allow it to call on the capabilities of third-party apps (something I called for last year) – but it seems like the company is also seeking to go even beyond Viv’s capabilities.

Apple last year acquired British intelligent assistant developer VocalIQ – a tool specifically geared to truly conversational queries – and a source who spoke to Business Insider gave some insight into just how intelligent Siri could become when infused with this tech …

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intelligent assistants Stories May 10, 2016

As long-time readers will know, I’ve long been a fan of Siri. As I’ve often noted, it’s my primary means of interacting with my iPhone (part of the reason I don’t need a larger screen). I dictate most of my messages, and if it’s possible to ask Siri to do something for me rather than doing it myself, I do.

But Siri does have one major failing: it has no access to third-party apps. There are countless apps where I’d love to be able to get Siri to do the heavy lifting, as I wrote last year in a Feature Request:

What I can’t yet do is ask the time of my next train home, despite having an app on my phone that can answer that question. I can’t ask it to show me today’s Timehop, nor can I ask it to post that to Facebook. I can’t ask it to post something to a Hipchat or Slack chatroom. I can’t ask it to call an Uber car. I can’t ask it to translate ‘Where is the nearest pharmacy’ into Mandarin. I could name many other examples, but you get the idea.

If Apple offered an API to allow third-party developers to take advantage of Siri, I’m confident that many would do so. And I’m certainly not alone in wanting that – in our poll, 95% of you agreed with me.

But it turns out that Siri’s original developers wanted to take things a step further …

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