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What Does Siri Mean?

Siri is a voice recognition application introduced as part of Apple’s iPhone 4S. The software can understand natural human language and complete requested tasks, such as answering questions, reading messages, making calendar appointments and setting reminders. It represents Apple’s first venture into artificial intelligence (AI) and is considered a groundbreaking technology in the fifth version of Apple’s new iPhone, announced in September, 2011.


Techopedia Explains Siri

The technology used by Siri goes back to 1966, when the U.S. Department of Defense recruited SRI International Artificial Intelligence Center International to develop computer capabilities for complex intelligent behavior. Siri, the company, was a startup that commercialized these technologies and was purchased by Apple in 2010.

Siri is expected to act as an additional interface in addition to the more traditional touch screen, mouse, keyboard and gestures and utilizes uses what it knows about a user, such as age, location, likes, dislikes and context. It uses this data to interact with the user more organically. This allows Siri to complete tasks, understand what the user is saying or asking and over time learn about the user to improve functionality.

You could use Siri to speak commands to:

  • Reply to text messages.
  • Call a person like your dentist.
  • Discover directions given your locale.
  • Do complex instructions such as “Text Joe that I’ll be home soon” or “Call a taxi.”

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.