An analyst may have put her finger on the conversational interface’s killer app
In a note to clients issued Friday, Cross Research’s Shannon Cross pivots from the Steve Jobs eulogies to take a closer look at Siri, the natural language interface that Apple (AAPL) unveiled the day before he died.
The artificial intelligence in Siri — the product of a five-year, 300-researcher DARPA project called CALO — may not be mature enough to understand half of what users are going to ask of it when it gets released later this week (see Will the iPhone’s Siri have its ‘Egg freckles’ moment?), but making sense of the commands grunted by couch potatoes and navigating TV Guide’s database are almost certainly within its ken. And as Cross points out, when Siri is installed across all of Apple’s iOS product line — including its current and future TV devices — the need for a physical TV remote might finally disappear.
TV, however, is only one possible application for Siri, which tapped into a broad range of databases even before Apple acquired it, including, according to Wikipedia:
- 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.