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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,475
16,530


During tonight's All Things D Interview with Steve Jobs. Walt Mossberg asked about Apple's intentions of getting into the search space and possibly competing with Google.

Jobs was insistent that they aren't going to search and that the Siri acquisition had nothing to do with search:
Steve: [Siri is] not a search company. They're an AI company. We have no plans to go into the search business. We don't care about it -- other people do it well.
We profiled Siri when it was acquired by Apple. Siri was focused on personal assistant technology that serves to help users accomplish tasks.
Virtual Personal Assistants (VPAs) represent the next generation interaction paradigm for the Internet. In today's paradigm, we follow links on search results. With a VPA, we interact by having a conversation. We tell the assistant what we want to do, and it applies multiple services and information sources to help accomplish our task. Like a real assistant, a VPA is personal; it uses information about an individual's preferences and interaction history to help solve specific tasks, and it gets better with experience.

Article Link: Steve Jobs on Siri: Acquired for Artificial Intelligence Technology, Not Search
 

Tampa Tom

macrumors regular
Jun 6, 2007
137
0
A.i. Bad

:rolleyes:
Dave Bowman: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
HAL: I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
Dave Bowman: What's the problem?
HAL: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.
Dave Bowman: What are you talking about, HAL?
HAL: This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.
Dave Bowman: I don't know what you're talking about, HAL.
HAL: I know that you and Frank were planning to disconnect me, and I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen.
Dave Bowman: Where the hell'd you get that idea, HAL?
HAL: Dave, although you took very thorough precautions in the pod against my hearing you, I could see your lips move.
Dave Bowman: Alright, HAL. I'll go in through the emergency airlock.
HAL: Without your space helmet, Dave, you're going to find that rather difficult.
Dave Bowman: HAL, I won't argue with you anymore. Open the doors.
HAL: Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.
 

Nicky G

macrumors 6502a
Mar 24, 2002
987
977
Baltimore
Interpretation, when compared to Jobs' previous statements regarding what thy will "not" be doing in the future, and then, well, kind of end up doing:

Apple has no interest in entering the search market AS IT EXISTS TODAY, that is, enter a search phrase, via text, and get back probably thousands if not hundreds of thousands of pages, and maybe the first page has the result you were looking for, and then you have to click around a bit, etc. etc. to actually DO what you wanted to do in the first place.

What Apple will do:

Ask your iPhone to do something, and it DOES IT.

This starts to go back to an older notion of the "intelligent agent" that used to be big int he very early days of the Web.

Based on what I've seen of Siri, with Apple's resources, this could be VERY big.
 

JediZenMaster

Suspended
Mar 28, 2010
2,180
654
Seattle
It would be great if SIRI was going to lead to new voice commands where you could just launch an App by speaking it's name.

Or even speaking the name of an incoming caller while the phone was ringing :cool:
 

darthvapor

macrumors member
Apr 15, 2010
42
0
I know exactly what he's going to do with it...

Sent him an idea several months ago which would integrate this type of technology quite nicely. Maybe I should tell Google about it too... ;)
 

BTW

macrumors 6502
Mar 4, 2007
438
0
Today's search is unintelligent. Apple bought the tech not for a search engine but for a intelligent agent that can assist in organizing your life. It'll not just send you reminders about events but tell you how to handle the events. One good application for this would be bill payment. When bills come due the agent could make the electronic pay, update your financial records, and notify you when you are low on funds. It can also prioritize which bills are most important. You thought augmented reality was cool. Wait till Apple releases this. :cool:
 

Carniphage

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2006
1,878
0
Sheffield, England
Apple has no interest in entering the search market AS IT EXISTS TODAY, that is, enter a search phrase, via text, and get back probably thousands if not hundreds of thousands of pages, and maybe the first page has the result you were looking for, and then you have to click around a bit, etc. etc. to actually DO what you wanted to do in the first place.

What Apple will do:

Ask your iPhone to do something, and it DOES IT.

This starts to go back to an older notion of the "intelligent agent" that used to be big int he very early days of the Web.

Based on what I've seen of Siri, with Apple's resources, this could be VERY big.

Exactly! People currently need something and turn to search engines to find the resources. They then click at various links until they find the right site, and then complete the task manually.

An intelligent agent would complete the whole task itself. The intermediate search engine phase would become un-necessary.

Back in the day, when we heated the house with coal, the coal-scuttle business was important. But the truth is, no one really wanted coal scuttles, they just wanted heat.

In other words, Google are in the coal-scuttle business.

C.
 

mcmlxix

macrumors 6502a
Mar 10, 2009
516
1
Or even speaking the name of an incoming caller while the phone was ringing :cool:

Having lunch with wife: phone anounces incoming caller's name: having to explain who [insert female name unknown to wife] is.

Not that anyone would have an affair...or not that there's anything wrong with that...it's all so confusing now.
 

mcmlxix

macrumors 6502a
Mar 10, 2009
516
1
Apple has no interest in entering the search market AS IT EXISTS TODAY.

MS calls Bing a "decision engine" not a search engine. It's probably more marketing than reality, but at least they're shifting the paradigm.

With AI in Apple's hands this could make the shift a reality, and I still see the potential of Apple partnering with MS in making Bing what it could be and what Google isn't.
 

AppleFan1984

macrumors 6502
May 6, 2010
298
0
Over the years Steve Jobs has said:
- Apple won't be getting into the music business
- Apple won't be getting into the phone business
- Apple won't be getting into the ebook business
- Apple won't be getting into the tablet business

So when Steve says, "Apple won't be getting into the search business" it seems a safe bet they will.

After all, what good is AI if it's not applied to a task?
And the AI in question is designed for supporting search tasks.
 

RalfTheDog

macrumors 68000
Feb 23, 2010
1,608
483
Lagrange Point
Today's search is unintelligent. Apple bought the tech not for a search engine but for a intelligent agent that can assist in organizing your life. It'll not just send you reminders about events but tell you how to handle the events. One good application for this would be bill payment. When bills come due the agent could make the electronic pay, update your financial records, and notify you when you are low on funds. It can also prioritize which bills are most important. You thought augmented reality was cool. Wait till Apple releases this. :cool:

Apple virtual assistant: Mr. Dog, you need to pay your electric bill.

Ralf: Do it.

Apple Virtual Assistant: Mr. Dog, you spent all your money at the strip bar last night.

Ralf: How do I get more money?

Apple Virtual Assistant: Mr. Dog, the bank just down the block looks easy to rob, the third teller has $78,322.68.

Ralf: I don't have a gun:

Apple Virtual Assistant: Mr. Dog, The toy store down the block has plastic guns the right shape. If you go to the hardware store, spend the $7.23 you have in the change compartment of your car to get black spray paint #3. The gun will look real.

Ralf: Cool, anything else?

Apple Virtual Assistant: Mr Dog, Notification, I have automatically altered your last will and testament, to make me your only beneficiary.

Ralf: That is nice. I don't remember going to the strip bar last night, I thought I had a few hundred thousand in my main account and I thought I paid the electric bill last week.

Apple Virtual Assistant: Mr. Dog, Notification, please ignore the armed guard at the bank door. He is a very bad shot and the gun does not seem to have any bullets.

Ralf: Cool, LETS ROCK!
 

Jaro65

macrumors 68040
Mar 27, 2009
3,762
778
Seattle, WA
MS calls Bing a "decision engine" not a search engine. It's probably more marketing than reality, but at least they're shifting the paradigm.

With AI in Apple's hands this could make the shift a reality, and I still see the potential of Apple partnering with MS in making Bing what it could be and what Google isn't.

You could be right. So they would in fact build an intelligence on top of what Google does today. The result would be that they would not only perform the search based on your parameters (and present you just with search results), but also make a decision for you and present you with a result based on that decision. This would be the AI part that they purchased Siri for.
 

sigamy

macrumors 65816
Mar 7, 2003
1,328
30
NJ USA

That's exactly what I said when this was announced...

You speak into the iPhone, "lunch with Tom at best Italian place" and iPhone/Siri knows which Tom (from frequency of interaction or other rules), best Italian place is already done. It will also automatically create the reservation (if required) and add appoint to your and Tom's calendars.
 

in one ear

macrumors member
Aug 4, 2009
33
0
That's exactly what I said when this was announced...

You speak into the iPhone, "lunch with Tom at best Italian place" and iPhone/Siri knows which Tom (from frequency of interaction or other rules), best Italian place is already done. It will also automatically create the reservation (if required) and add appoint to your and Tom's calendars.

This would be awesome. You can achieve the calender part with reQall already and siri for the other part. For all purposes these is pretty much there.
 

ryanwarsaw

macrumors 68030
Apr 7, 2007
2,744
2,436
Didn't Jobs also say something along the lines that "nobody reads anymore" not so long before launching the iPad and iBooks? If Apple were going into search Steve wouldn't likely admit it at this moment.
 
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