There is no doubting the popularity of AI virtual assistants such as Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s Siri. They are useful and also increasingly becoming better and better at hearing and understanding our voice commands. One thing that has traditionally stood in the way of having a natural conversation with these assistants, however, is the wake word or phrase needed to get their attention in the first place. To help with this, Apple is rolling out a change to Siri’s wake word in a bid to make much more natural.
Bloomberg reports that Apple is working on cutting out 50% of Siri’s trigger phrase, cutting it down from “Hey Siri” to just “Siri”. According to the report, Apple is working on implementing the change across all instances of Siri from iPhone and Apple Watches to HomePods and Apple Macs, in a bid to make summoning the virtual assistant easier for the user.
Interestingly, according to the report Apple has been working on this update for several months, including testing it on employees. Although the move is designed to simplify the process for the user, it actually involves a fair amount of complexity enabling the AI assistant to pick up on just a single phrase. Having two words makes it much easier for the AI to pick up the trigger phrase.
This means that it is likely that we will not see the single-word trigger phrase rolling out to Siri across all Apple devices until early next year. Furthermore, it looks like Apple is also working on further third-party integrations for Siri meaning you may be able to use the virtual assistant to help you with more tasks too.
Another benefit of reducing the trigger phrase from one word to two is that it will further enhance the natural conversation feel you will get when talking to the virtual assistant. It is common to refer to people by name while you are talking to them, but it is very odd to try and get their attention by saying “hey” every time you say something new.
In other recent Apple New, the latest version of iOS is bringing a much more integrated news and weather experience.