Apple Pushes to Make Siri's AI More Useful and Reliable
NEWS ANALYSIS: Apple continues to improve Siri with support for new platforms and third parties, but data privacy remains a stumbling block.The battle of the digital assistants will begin again in earnest in the fall of 2016 when the latest version of Apple's Siri hits the street with iOS 10. But this time it also will hit the streets with MacOS Sierra and with the Apple TV. This latest version of Siri will be the first to provide APIs that enable third-party developers to create new skills and functions for the voice-activated digital assistant. You've probably noticed that other digital assistants, such as Amazon's Alexa, already have access to third-party apps. But gaining these new functions is a bigger deal for Apple, if only because some of those third-party apps for Siri can extend the assistant's role in artificial intelligence. One of disadvantages Apple has had with Siri is that it worked with just a few apps from Apple. As a result, compared to other assistants that have reached the market, Siri couldn't do a lot. Adding to the difficulty of making Siri more useful is Apple's laudable focus on privacy, which has further limited what Siri can do.
That's starting to change. Using what Apple is calling "Siri Intelligence," the virtual assistant will begin to be able to pass portions of requests back to Apple for to obtain more complete information or to produce better results.