Siri: Back to the Future

author: Adam Cheyer, Viv Labs, Inc.
published: Aug. 22, 2017,   recorded: July 2014,   views: 732

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Siri is the virtual personal assistant resident inside hundreds of millions of Apple devices. Ask Siri to buy you a movie ticket, make a restaurant reservation, send a message or a tweet, or get the score of the big game and Siri will help you get the job done quickly and easily, through a conversational interaction. People often ask me, "What technology is really behind Siri" and "What's next for Siri?" As a former Apple employee, I'm not at liberty to talk about either of these questions. However, without saying anything related to Apple's system or roadmaps, I can describe the past, explaining what got left "on the cutting room floor" as Siri moved forward from research to commercialization up to an eventual acquisition by Apple. In this talk, I will present the technology and features behind a lineage of systems leading towards Apple's Siri: oAA, Vanguard, CALo, Active, the startup Siri. We will do it in reverse: the farther we go back in time, the more futuristic each version gets, with fantastic capabilities not available in any later version. As Steve Jobs famously said, "You can't connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards..."

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