Apple is working on improving its virtual assistant, Siri. The tech giant is reportedly planning on changing the trigger phrase used to summon the assistant from “Hey Siri,” to “Siri”. The change is meant to make the whole process of using Siri, more streamlined.
Apple working on improvements for virtual assistant Siri
In the latest edition of his “Power On” newsletter for Bloomberg, Gurman says that Apple is working on simplifying the trigger phrase that is used to access its virtual assistant. This change will allow users to only say “Siri,” along with a command, to have the virtual assistant search the web, reply to texts, open maps, etc.
While dropping one word from the “Hey Siri” cue might seem like it would be easy, Gurman says that is far from the truth. Adjusting the trigger phrase for the virtual assistant is going to be a technical challenge for the tech giant, the journalist claims.
The company is working on an initiative to drop the “Hey” in the trigger phrase so that a user only needs to say “Siri”—along with a command. While that might seem like a small change, making the switch is a technical challenge that requires a significant amount of AI training and underlying engineering work.
Gurman goes on to reveal that the functionality is pretty far into development and Apple plans to roll it out by 2023 at the earliest. Given how complex the change is proving to be, it is possible that the tech giant may roll it out by 2024 instead.
Apple has been working on the change for several months and—if all goes to plan—hopes to roll out the switch either next year or the year after. The company has been testing the simplified wake word with employees and collecting the necessary training data.
One of the biggest issues that Apple has to tackle has to do with how its devices will be able to pick up the word “Siri” in multiple different accents and dialects. The current “Hey Siri” command makes it easier since there are two words being said.
The complexity involves Siri being able to understand the singular phrase “Siri” in multiple different accents and dialects. Having two words—“Hey Siri”—increases the likelihood of the system properly picking up the signal.
Gurman concludes by revealing that Apple is working on integrating Siri deeper into third-party apps and services.