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No more ‘Hey Siri’ – Apple may shorten command phrase

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“Hey Siri,” the command phrase used to summon Apple’s virtual assistant, makes the process of launching Siri pretty speedy. But Apple is reportedly looking at a way to shave a few precious nanoseconds off that time by shortening the phrase to just “Siri.”

According to Bloomsberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple is running an internal project to cut the first word from “Hey Siri” in an attempt to simplify its use even further.

So what’s the point? Well, we’ve seen first-hand plenty of people forget the “Hey” part when attempting to use Siri. If they’re also used to using “Alexa” or “OK, Google,” it can be easy to confuse the commands and misspeak when using an Apple device. Sure, it’s not a huge deal – but removing “Hey” would certainly remove that point of confusion.

Though it may sound like a trivial change, a two-syllable trigger like “Siri” is much harder to accurately and consistently detect than a three-syllable phrase like “Hey Siri.” Gurman describes the change as “a technical challenge that requires a significant amount of AI training and underlying engineering work.” That’s why those other smart assistants we mentioned earlier use three-syllable phrases. Nobody wants more false positives causing accidental triggers.

Perhaps more importantly for most users, though, is Apple’s plan to better integrate Siri into third-party apps. While it generally works well with requests that can be handled via Apple’s own apps and services, its ability to understand and perform tasks with other apps is spotty at best, lagging behind the competition in some regards. These are changes we’d really appreciate.

Apple, supposedly, has been testing these changes internally for some time and hopes to roll them out next year, or possibly the year after.