Will You Marry Me, Siri?

Screenshot of Siri answer

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In 1993, speech recognition technology was 10% accurate.
Now it is 96% accurate.

THOUGHT: Remember when you had to train your Office software to recognize your voice in order to improve its speech recognition software?


Well, there’s a reason it never really took off. Who wants to teach software?

But as the numbers above indicate, speech recognition technology has come a long way since then. And with the introduction of Siri in the iPhone 4S, the technology is nearly effortless to use…and enjoyably witty.

That’s right, witty. Siri’s got personality.

Search volume for the term “Siri” began to surge on October 3 but ten days later, after people had a chance to play around with the technology, searches for “Siri questions” relates searches began to surge.

Siri will not only answer your practical questions, but will also appear to engage you in conversation. Ask her “Who’s on first?” or “What are you wearing” or “Will you marry me?” and check out her responses?

While these responses are no doubt programmed into the software, how much longer will it be before you have Watson-type reasoning technology on your phone? And when your phone is smart enough to respond to you unprogrammatically, as it were, then that’s the beginning of genuine virtual companions.

Beyond following the overall trend of computing becoming more and more natural and therefore transparent, it’s got to have an effect on search marketing. People will now need to think of how search phrases will change when addressed to a quasi-human companion.

SUPER COOL TOOL TUESDAY: Our Mobile Planet is Google’s new data mining tool to provide “insights into smartphone usage and mobile attitudes.”

Thank you for James Burke.