October 4, 2011: With the unveiling of the new iPhone 4s, Apple introduces the world to Siri.
A groundbreaking example of AI in action, Siri’s debut fulfills a long-term dream at Apple. The company first predicted such a feature in the 1980s — with the Siri launch coming at almost the exact month Apple envisioned.
If you think it’s amazing that your iPhone can recognize your thumbprint and take your pulse, apparently you’re in for some future shocks.
Dr. Justin Sanchez, program manager of the Biological Technologies Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency says that these basic biometrics are just the beginning for how our bodies could one day interact with technology.
“Many of you are just getting things back like, ‘This is what your heart rate is right now’ or ‘You took 6,000 steps today,'” Sanchez said at DARPA’s annual conference last month. “Who cares about that stuff? What you really want to do is use that information to help you interact with machines in a much deeper way.”
We all know that Siri has some fun Easter eggs, but according to some Apple’s virtual assistant also has an entire backstory — unlockable by asking just the right questions.
“We developed a backstory for Siri to make sure everything that it said was consistent, and as part of that, we had to answer questions like, is Siri a man or a woman?” says Adam Cheyer, one of the chief engineers for the project. “Is it human, a machine, an alien? Is it an Apple employee? What is its relationship with respect to Apple?”