There’s a great article on 9to5Mac where the publication interviews the co-founder of Siri and he says that the upcoming voice-controlled Assistant in iOS 5 could be a “world-changing event.”
Norman Winarsky makes it clear that he doesn’t know what Apple will do with Siri, which is purchased more than a year ago but he’s very bullish on the potential because Apple can bring this to the mainstream. Here’s the money quote:
: Let me first say I have no knowledge of what Apple plans to do with the Siri purchase. I read the rumors just like everyone else and it appears that Apple is getting ready to reveal what it has done with Siri over the past year and a half (we were actually expecting it at WWDC). 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.
It reminds me of another SRI Project: Doug Engelbart, Inventor of Mouse augmented human ability back in the ’60s. Just as Steve Jobs took that technology and ran with it, we believe that Apple will use Siri to start another revolution.
He obviously has a vested interest in the success of Siri and that’s why it’s not a surprise to see him downplay Google Voice Action and Vlingo but this definitely piques our interest in iOS 5 even more. We’ll be watching Oct. 4 to see if this Assistant features is really a “world changer.”