It has been more than a decade since Apple announced its voice-assistant Siri. The trigger phrase for Siri has also not changed since it was integrated with iOS. Today, Siri is available on every Apple product that runs on the company’s iOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS and iPadOS operating systems. It can be triggered by speaking the phrase “Hey Siri”. According to a report, this is about to change. Apple is reportedly working to make the phrase much shorter with the word “Siri”, much like how Amazon’s Alexa digital voice assistant works when using its echo range of devices.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman notes in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, that Apple is working on an initiative to drop the word “Hey” from the “Hey Siri” phrase used to wake up Siri. The change may appear to be a simple one, but Gurman explains that it is a technical challenge which will require Apple to invest a lot of time and effort in AI training.
Apple has been working on this change for the past several months, according to Gurman, but the ability to use a shorter phrase will not be launched anytime soon. He estimates that the firm will roll out support for this shortened command by next year or even the year after. Apple is currently testing out the new phrase among its employees to gather the necessary training data, adding that the complexity arises from Siri being able to understand and act on the single phrase in multiple accents and dialects, he adds. This is reportedly easier to do with two words compared to one.
Gurman also notes that Apple is also bringing some other changes to its voice assistant, allowing it to offer deeper integration with third party apps and services. The shorter phrase would also allow for faster responses, he says.
It remains to be seen if Apple will announce these improvements to Siri at this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). Expectations for the event are currently sky-high, with the tech giant expected to announce a brand-new mixed reality headset, alongside new Mac models. The usual updates to iOS, macOS, watchOS are also expected to be unveiled at Apple’s WWDC 2023 event that begins on June 5 and ends on June 9.