Siri may soon respond to your voice and your voice alone, according to a recently-published patent application from Apple.
The security feature would essentially expand the biometric security system of Touch ID to voice, so that Siri’s voice recognition could also be used to unlock devices or potentially even confirm payments on Apple Pay.
Apple’s patent describes a way of training Siri to recognize a specific phrase said in a user’s voice. Referred to by Apple as a “lexical trigger,” this would be a variation on the “Hey, Siri” phrase currently used to activate Siri.
The idea of a lexical trigger makes perfect sense because it would be incredibly difficult to train a system to recognize your voice, regardless of what it says. Even if this was possible, to continually carry out a secure matching process would be time-intensive in both the training stage and in real-life use cases.
On the other hand, teaching Siri to learn the way that you say “Whattup, Siri?” or whatever other unique trigger phrase you choose could be done with a far higher degree of accuracy. It would additionally add a more traditional passcode element, as not everyone would know your particular lexical trigger.
Will we see it happen? As with all Apple patents, there’s no guarantee that it will ever actually make it to market. Apple has patented plenty of intriguing ideas that never make it to market, and has even occasionally found itself on the receiving end of criticism for inventing technology and then failing to implement it.
With that said, Apple’s been investing heavily in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Given that it’s been so keen in rolling out Touch ID as a biometric security system that goes way beyond its original “unlock your iPhone” use-case, and that Siri is clearly something Apple’s excited about, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this become a reality.
Particularly if Apple winds up pursuing the Amazon Echo-rival standalone Siri it’s supposedly working on.
Source: Patently Apple