A free personal assistant for the rest of us: Siri app   1 comment

Who hasn’t dreamed of having their own personal assistant, the way celebrities do?  Someone to make appointments for you, call your favorite restaurant to make a reservation, order you a taxi etc?  It turns out, there’s an app for that, and it’s called Siri.  Siri was developed through SRI International’s CALO artificial intelligence project to design a “personal assistant that learns.”    It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, right?  Apple was so impressed with the technology that it purchased Siri, and there are rumors that the Siri personal assistant will become integrated in future iOS versions, so that there will no longer be the need to download the app to have access to your own personal assistant.  It is rumored that the iPhone 5 will have this feature, called the “Assistant.”  Luckily, for now the app is still available for free in the iPhone app store for those of us who have earlier iPhones.  There is unfortunately no iPad app yet, although one is rumored to be in the works.

To use Siri, you must enable GPS location and tell Siri (optional) where you live and work so that it can find places close to either location.  You may either type in your requests, or speak them.  Some examples of what Siri does:

1.  Make restaurant reservations, through partnerships with Open Table.  You can ask it “find a Chinese restaurant near work” and it will give you list of options.  You can then decide if you want to make a reservation or if you want to call the restaurant.

2. Order a taxi for you, through Taxi Magic.

3.  Siri partners with Rotten tomatoes, for movie reviews, and with Yelp for reviews of just about any business.

4.  You can ask Siri “When is Josh Groban playing Madison Square Garden” and it will not only tell you, it will give you several options for purchasing tickets, such as StubHub.  I must admit, I tried this myself, just to see if it worked.

5.  Siri will also tell you the weather and provide recommendations on how to dress!  This is thanks to a partnership with Weather Bug.

6.  Give you updates on your flight’s status through a partnership with Flight Stats.

7.  Email yourself reminders of things to do, such as buy flowers for Mom on Mother’s Day!

It will be exciting to see how this technology develops, especially if it becomes an integral part of the iPhone’s operating system.  It will certainly reduce time browsing the web, since it is easier simply to give Siri a voice command and the app does it all for you.  Highly recommended!

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Posted September 18, 2011 by deboraplehn in Apps

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One response to “A free personal assistant for the rest of us: Siri app

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  1. Pingback: iPhone 4S New Features « deboraplehn

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