Why Apple may be working on a "hey Siri" change |  CNN Business

Why Apple may be working on a “hey Siri” change | CNN Business

CNN Business

Apple would like to put an end to “Hey”.

The company is said to be training its voice assistant Siri to pick up commands without needing the first half of the “Hey Siri” prompt phrase. The trigger phrase is used to launch Siri on various products including iPhone, iPad, HomePod, and Apple Watch.

Bloomberg, which first reported the news, said the change could come next year or in 2024. Apple did not respond to a request for comment from CNN Business.

Although the update is seemingly minor, experts say it may signal that bigger changes are on the way and may require extensive training in artificial intelligence. Lian Jye Su, research director at ABI Research, said having two trigger words allows the system to more accurately recognize requests, so switching to one word would rely on an AI system more advanced.

“During the recognition phase, the system compares the voice command to the model trained by the user,” Su said. “”Siri” is much shorter than “Hey Siri”, which gives the system potentially fewer points of comparison and a higher error rate in an echo, large room and noisy environments”, such as in the car or in case of wind.

The move would allow Apple to catch up with Amazon’s “Alexa” prompt that doesn’t require a first wake word for its voice assistant. Microsoft moved away from “Hey Cortana” in 2018, now allowing users to only say “Cortana” over smart speakers. However, “OK Google” is still required for most Google product requests.

The abandonment of “Hey Siri” would also come at a time when Apple, Amazon and Google are collaborating on the Matter automation standard, which will allow automation and IoT devices from different vendors to interoperate.

With that in mind, James Sanders, principal analyst at market research firm CCS Insight, said “increasing efforts to improve Siri functionality is likely a priority at Apple.”

Siri launched in February 2010 as a standalone iOS app in Apple’s App Store before being acquired by the tech giant two months later. The company then integrated Siri into the iPhone 4S, which was released the following year, and introduced the ability to say “Hey Siri” without physically touching a button in 2014.

Siri has gotten smarter over the years, thanks to integration with third-party developers, such as ridesharing and payment apps, and support for follow-up questions, more languages ​​and different accents. However, it still has problems for not understanding users and responding incorrectly.

“While the ‘Hey Siri’ change requires a significant amount of work, it would be surprising if Apple only announced this change for Siri,” Sanders said. “Given the rumored timing, I anticipate this change will be bundled with other new or improved features for Siri, possibly alongside a new model of HomePod and integrations with other smart home products through Matter , as a reintroduction of Apple’s voice assistant.”

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