Have you ever read Siri's Wikipedia article? Some fascinating facts:

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by mikethebigo, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. mikethebigo macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2009
    I just spent a little time researching the history of Siri, and thought I'd share some pretty cool facts about it.

    - Siri started as the DARPA-funded "CALO" project, described as perhaps the largest artificial-intelligence project ever launched. Its five-year contract brought together 300+ researchers from 25 of the top university and commercial research institutions, with the goal of building a new generation of cognitive assistants that can reason, learn from experience, be told what to do, explain what they are doing, reflect on their experience, and respond robustly to surprise.

    - CALO is an acronym for "Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes". The name was inspired by the Latin word "calonis," which means "soldier’s servant".

    - Siri's current (rather large) ecosystem of partners includes:
    OpenTable, Gayot, CitySearch, BooRah, Yelp, Yahoo Local, ReserveTravel, Localeze for restaurant and business questions and actions;
    Eventful, StubHub, and LiveKick for events and concert information;
    MovieTickets, RottenTomatoes, New York Times for movie information and reviews;
    True Knowledge, Bing Answers, and Wolfram Alpha for factual question answering
    Bing and Google for web search.

    - It was originally destined for Blackberry and Android platforms first, but those projects were cancelled once Apple purchased the company.

    Pretty fascinating stuff. More here on the Wikipedia article:
  2. JMB1911 macrumors regular

    Mar 27, 2010

    People who say this is just like any other voice command deal are nuts.
  3. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    As usual, the fans writing in Wikipedia missed a few things.

    CALO was a big project. Siri is not a direct offshoot of that.

    Siri is a commercial derivative of a sub effort called PAL (Personalized Assistant that Learns). Here's the website for it.

    Since it was a government sponsored project, the Java or C# code behind PAL is available to almost anyone who registers.
  4. mikethebigo thread starter macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2009
    I wouldn't call it a sub effort. It seems PAL and CALO were deeply intertwined.


    But yes, Siri is the commercial derivative of the technology.
  5. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Thank you for the correction. I was relying on a DARPA document that apparently had it backwards!

    Grumble - never trust a managerial overview :)

    I see that the site I posted even has a WinXP version of a Calo assistant for searches. Might have to try it out.
  6. Acronym macrumors 68000

    Apr 26, 2008
    can you give siri postponed commands? like "call my wife when I leave work"?
  7. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Mar 29, 2008
    Yes. Siri uses geotagging, so if you tell Siri to remind you to call your wife when you leave work, when Siri picks up on your location being NOT at work, it will remind you.
  8. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    You can say "Remind me to call my wife when I leave work". That would put in a location-based reminder.
  9. redman042 macrumors 68030


    Jun 13, 2008
    The bottom line:

    When Apple rolls out a major new feature, they don't mess around. They bring their A-game every time.

    Once I saw how far Apple took Siri, and all the things it could do, I stopped wondering whether Siri would live up to its claims. It will. And beyond. My preorder is in, and I can't wait.

    Remember too that they presented Siri as "beta" in the keynote, and said "beta means we are going to expand it and add new features over time". So, even though it already does all these wonderful things, that's not enough for Apple.

    I fully expect Siri to be in every Apple product going forward and its capabilities to expand substantially over time. It's going to be amazing. Sign me up.
  10. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C

    Please do some research and have some studies before you just start making claims.
  11. Acronym macrumors 68000

    Apr 26, 2008
    I don't mean a reminder to call, but when you geotag a spot it will initiate the call once you arrive there. so quite litterally "Call my wife when I get to the house"
  12. rick snagwell macrumors 68040

    rick snagwell

    Feb 12, 2011
    oceanside, ca
  13. mikethebigo thread starter macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2009
    Haha, no problem. I even thought you were right for a second! Glad there was enough hard data on the web to clear it up.

    I expect at WWDC next year, Apple will introduce APIs to allow 3rd party apps to use Siri. I can't even imagine how amazing it will be then. "Siri, use the United app and search for a flight from San Diego to Honolulu." "Siri, what's my high score in Doodle Jump?" "Siri, start playing my QuickMix Pandora station."

    My use of the screen itself will decrease dramatically.
  14. fjrabon macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2010
    So you want Siri to actually talk to your wife for you? About what? If you meant anything else, the best Siri could do would be a reminder, because it would have to remind you to actually be on the phone at that time. Yes, siri could then initiate the call once you were on the phone, that's been demonstrated.

    This is what I mean by some people will fail with Siri not because Siri is bad technology, but because they want Siri to do things that don't even make sense. What sense would it make for Siri to call your wife when you leave work without first reminding you that to talk to your wife before calling her?
  15. jclardy macrumors 68040


    Oct 6, 2008
    I wonder if Siri can look up movie showtimes and play movie trailers in its current state.

    I guess we'll see when people get their 4S's.

    The real power of Siri will come when there is an SDK for it. Any app being able to implement voice control would be quite amazing.
  16. fjrabon macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2010
    Yep, I think this will be part of why the screen size issue won't be as big of a deal, post siri I think we'll be doing a lot less interacting with the screen, at which point size of the screen will just mean a clunkier device. This, I believe will then further turn the iPad more into a content consuming device and the iPhone more into a 'life enhancement' device. If you want a big screen to watch a show or movie, or something like that, iPad. For normal day to day tasks, I think most will prefer to smaller form factor over a 4-5 inch screen. Just my opinion though.
  17. mikethebigo thread starter macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2009
    The original Siri app had agreements with MovieTickets.com, RottenTomatoes, and the New York Times. I do hope Apple maintained all of these relationships and did not decrease functionality. Apple has a pretty strong agreement with RottenTomatoes though, their reviews are used on iTunes, so I expect it to be available/integrated in the iOS Siri.
  18. Acronym macrumors 68000

    Apr 26, 2008
    I guess my idea is that not that siri will talk to your wife but for those who use BT pieces a lot they could have it initiate the call when they get somwhere, I understand that this would cause a lot of trouble for those who do not fully understand the feature but jsut a thought/idea.
  19. mikethebigo thread starter macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2009
    Personally, I'd rather not give Siri the permission to initiate a call without me specifically instructing it to do it, right at that time.

    Talk about privacy problems!
  20. Acronym macrumors 68000

    Apr 26, 2008
    true enough.
  21. CBR900RR macrumors 6502a

    Oct 11, 2008
    Middle of Pacific
    I wonder if both you and your wife have ip4s/siri, can you ask siri, alert me when my wife are close to the bar:D
  22. kdarling, Oct 10, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011

    kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Thanks for your concern. I always do research if it's not something I have personal experience with.

    As for Wikipedia, quoting a six year old article in Nature claiming that Wikipedia and Britannica have the same number of mistakes is hardly going to convince me or other educated people than it's a reliable source for anything.

    That especially goes for anything that is related to the iPhone, as its fans tend to modify articles to make it or GSM or Apple sound better.

    I've been a Wikipedia contributor since its beginning, and I have written both original and corrective sections of several articles... including the first early 2007 iPhone article which was chock full of fantasies from people with zero development or touch experience. (The original article which popped up after the iPhone debut claimed the UI showed a keyhole view of a giant desktop, and you swiped to see different sections.)
  23. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    Interesting, looks like Apple is the winner here, I think it's going to change the way we use cell phones and more importantly change our understanding of what we can use them for :apple:
  24. JoshJosh117 macrumors 6502

    Nov 8, 2007
    Yeah, wouldn't it be cool if you could remind someone else about something using Siri? (If the other person has given you access or something beforehand.)
  25. mikethebigo thread starter macrumors 68000

    May 25, 2009
    If Siri could link with other iCloud accounts (after being given permission), that would be awesome.

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