Siri has become a signature feature of the Apple ecosystem. While the virtual assistant has become a part of almost every product the Cupertino company produces, its allure has lagged somewhat in recent years.
At least some of that seems to be attributed to the less-than-ideal phrase users have to utter to access Siri — “Hey, Siri.” A notorious hobbyhorse of countless Apple users is the abundance of phrases that Siri can accidentally activate.
Apple appears to have identified this issue and is reportedly working on a fix. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the latest authority on all things Apple, the tech giant is developing a simplified way to access Siri. This information was first put forward in Gurman’s Power On Newsletter.
The main goal is to find a way to drop the ‘Hey’ in the trigger phrase so that users can launch a command directly, after the word ‘Siri’. For example, instead of the whole “Hey Siri, play some music”, users can just say “Siri, play some music”. This is similar to how Amazon’s Alexa currently works.
As mundane as a change may seem, according to Gurman, it is a “technical challenge that requires a significant amount of AI training and underlying technical work.” The change should roll out sometime in the next few years — Gurman gives a rather rough estimate for a 2023 or 2024 launch date.
The greatest complexity is ensuring that the single word ‘Siri’ can be picked up regardless of the speaker’s accent and/or dialect. Making the trigger phrase shorter greatly increases the chances of the phrase being detected incorrectly – hence the programming issues.
Siri has come a long way since it made its debut, and Apple is constantly working on ways to improve its virtual assistant. This seems like a logical next step in that direction.