Apple has just published a new patent that allows someone using one of its devices to interact with Siri through written messages versus dictation. Siri is a chat bot now.
Contrary to what many people say, there is such a thing as a dumb question. That’s why Apple invented Siri — so we have someone to go to when we need to get answers to those embarrassing inquiries (“Siri, Google ‘how do I see the full moon?’”). But it’s not always easy to outright ask Siri something. Sometimes it’s too noisy or windy outside. Sometimes you’re somewhere you can’t talk very loudly. Sometimes you have an accent. Sometimes your question is so dumb you don’t want anyone else to know how little you really know.
In all of those instances, this would be the tool for you, according to a patent application that was approved and published on Wednesday.
How would it work? Here’s the thing — Siri operates by recording your voice and sending along all of that audio data over to its virtual servers, which decipher what has been said, and sends over a relevant response which it believes to be most appropriate. The key advantage behind such A.I. assistants like Siri is that they put tasks and functionality under a conversational veneer — with a program that is optimized to complete a task as efficiently and accurately as possible without feeling totally like a machine.
The patent essentially puts that feeling into a text format. Text messaging provided a new platform for phone conversations with your friends to occur through visuals. The new patent basically looks to do the same thing for Siri — giving your interactions with Siri the iMessage treatment.
This isn’t the first time Siri has reared her head into the iMessage world. A patent approved last year described a version of Siri that chimes in while you’re texting by answering questions or providing relevant information you and the user you’re chatting with might find useful.
Rumors suggest a Siri-infused iMessage update will be available on iOS 11.