Apple has announced an extremely impressive and important new feature coming to the iPhone 4S called Siri. Siri is an artificial intelligence-based personal assistant for your iPhone that can set alarms, add contacts, look up information, find restaurants and more, all at the sound of your voice.
Apple describes Siri in a press release posted today as follows:
iPhone 4S also introduces Siri, an intelligent assistant that helps you get things done just by asking. Siri understands context allowing you to speak naturally when you ask it questions, for example, if you ask “Will I need an umbrella this weekend?” it understands you are looking for a weather forecast. Siri is also smart about using the personal information you allow it to access, for example, if you tell Siri “Remind me to call Mom when I get home” it can find “Mom” in your address book, or ask Siri “What’s the traffic like around here?” and it can figure out where “here” is based on your current location. Siri helps you make calls, send text messages or email, schedule meetings and reminders, make notes, search the Internet, find local businesses, get directions and more. You can also get answers, find facts and even perform complex calculations just by asking.
Apple demoed some of the impressive things that Siri can do by asking Siri simple questions using normal sentences as pictured above (pictures provided by CultofMac), such as asking how the weather is, whether or not you’ll need a raincoat today, or asking it to set an alarm for 6am tomorrow.
Siri is able to control many aspects of your iPhone using only your voice, and puts the power of information at your fingertips by integrating with WolframAlpha, allowing you to find almost any piece of information you want using only your voice.
Siri is also GPS powered, and can give you location-based reminders that you specify. For instance, you can tell Siri to remind you not to forget your wallet when you leave your house in the morning.
The most important aspect, however, is that Siri uses natural language instead of pre-set commands, which can get extremely awkward, and you can speak to it like an actual person instead of like a computer program. Siri will debut as a beta on the iPhone 4S when it is released in its first seven coutries on October 14th. You can view Siri in action in the below video hosted on ThisISMyNext’s YouTube channel: