Siri: Your Virtual Personal Assistant


Virtual Personal Assistants (VPAs) represent the next generation interaction paradigm for the Internet. In today's paradigm, we follow links on search results. With a VPA, we interact by having a conversation. We tell the assistant what we want to do, and it applies multiple services and information sources to help accomplish our task. Like a real assistant, a VPA is personal; it uses information about an individual's preferences and interaction history to help solve specific tasks, and it gets better with experience.

Siri is the first mainstream consumer application of a Virtual Personal Assistant. Siri is an intelligent software agent designed to have a back-and-forth conversational interaction with you as it helps you get tasks done. The three main technical components behind Siri's differentiation correspond to the essential qualities of an assistant: a conversational interface, personal context awareness and service delegation.

Siri is available for free as an iPhone application in the App Store.