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What is Siri Really? How Apple's Voice Recognition Technology Really Works

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By Jaden Francis - - 5 Mins Read
Illustration of Siri voice recognition technology
| Shutterstock

Siri is a personal assistant operating in the Apple ecosystem. Due to how beginner-friendly and how easy it is to use it, it has grown to become very popular even outside Apple users. On the other hand, Apple has put a lot of work into ensuring the consistency and sustainability of this technology. It combines machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide quality service for users.

Let's take a deep dive into how it works. 


What is Siri?

It is important to have a basic understanding of Siri in order to comprehend how it works. Siri is a digital personal assistant that is built-in to the Apple device operating system. This means that Siri is not limited to just Apple phones, but can also be used on laptops and other Apple smart devices.


With Apple Siri technology, users can perform a wide range of activities, such as checking the weather, confirming appointments, getting answers to questions, making calls, and many other tasks. 


One of the best features of this technology is that it communicates using human languages. In other words, one can talk to it, and it will reply in the language you understand. The Apple Siri technology also has some AI integrations that help it adapt to a specific user's preference. In other words, it can be personalized to behave exactly how you want it to. 


It's important to keep in mind that the new technology also has its limitations. For example, Siri can't function properly in a noisy environment. It may become confused when given conflicting commands. However, in a quiet setting, Siri can be very useful for a variety of tasks. For example, let's say you need to send a message to your spouse. Simply say, "Hey Siri, please text my wife that I will be five minutes late."


Using Siri on a mobile phone
| Omid Armin


As mentioned earlier, Siri can be used to perform a variety of tasks. For example, if you want to know the current weather conditions, you can simply ask Siri, "Hey Siri, is it going to be rainy or sunny today?" and it will provide you with accurate information. Additionally, the Apple Siri technology is useful when you need answers to random questions. For instance, you can ask, "Hey Siri, what is the meaning of cybersecurity?" and it will provide you with various definitions sourced from the internet.


All these prove how much one can achieve using this technology. Moreover, the use is not only limited to asking random questions. The Siri assistant is very handy when retrieving files on a device. For instance, one can make a command saying, "Hey Siri, please open the 2021 budget spreadsheet."

Making Siri Better Over the Years 

It's great that the creators of this technology continue to improve it. During the WWDC 2017 event, Apple announced that they would be using deep learning to enhance Siri's performance. This upgrade allowed Siri to learn on its own, improving its ability to answer user queries. Additionally, the technology gained the ability to provide relevant information along with additional sources of citations.


But that wasn't the only change that Apple made to this technology. At WWDC 2018, Apple announced new watchOS innovations that will improve how Siri works on the device. With this new upgrade, Siri can perform without saying "Hey Siri." Other updates on Siri happened both in 2020 and 2021, and there are expectations of many more. 


In the 2020 update, Apple unveiled an enhanced design for Siri in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14. Apparently, this new design enabled the technology to work on both iPhone and iPad without taking over the whole screen. This is a feature that was missing from the assistant before the update. The new update came with a small, orb-like icon at the bottom of the screen, allowing the user to see what was on the screen beside Siri. 


The 2021 update came with multiple features and upgrades. In this case, Siri was given more independence by Apple. According to them, it made the technology to provide improved performance. Furthermore, this new independence allowed Siri to get integrated into smart devices.