Is Apple prepping Siri for Mac?

“Apple’s breakthrough voice recognition user interface for the iPhone 4S is already being perceived as a game changer, and it would appear Apple is not going to stop there, as the company looks at including the Siri assistant across its range of devices,” Radu Tyrsina writes for ITProPortal.

“Already Siri’s team of engineers is the most prominent in Cupertino, and the recent announcement that Apple is looking to bring in more specialists and engineers to help Siri grow suggests voice technology implementation is only at the beginning,” Tyrsina writes. “One of the Siri job posts requested applicants with a “passion for the Macintosh platform”, while another of the recruitment ads explains that Siri should be considered ‘an entire miniature OS within the OS…’ This choice of words implies that in the future, Siri will have to be responsible for more tasks than handling a few quick requests on the iPhone.”

Tyrsina writes, “Analyst Brian Blair of Wedge Partners believes the next all-in-one computer could integrate Apple TV-like functions, allowing iMacs to stream video and other content to Wi-Fi enabled TVs.””

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Putting Siri on the Mac would almost eliminate the need for the Dock, Mission Control, etc.. Be nice to think of stuff like Siri controlled lighting, alarm systems, etc.. The list goes on. A real boon for the handicapped especially.

      1. If there are ONLY three, I would say:

        (1) Self movement and precise manipulation of environment.
        (2) A “quantum” increase in processing capability, beyond the fastest computers today.
        (3) Artificial intelligence programming, including “natural” methods of human/computer interaction.

        Siri is a “primitive” start for (3).

  2. Ultimately, Siri (or whatever it will become), will be more important for its artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, not the voice recognition.

    Voice is an obvious way to interact with a smartphone. But it is not always as ideal on a Mac, or even on an iPad, to give commands by voice. You can’t have a crowded office, with everyone talking to their computers. So the ongoing work here will be to develop NEW intuitive ways to interact with Apple’s computing devices, that takes full advantage of Siri’s AI.

    1. “You can’t have a crowded office, with everyone talking to their computers.”

      Well, I guess — but within reason it would work for the basic commands at least, and in some offices for a lot more. How many offices have people on the phone frequently if not near-constantly?

      1. The day may come when computers will actually come up with their own original jokes.

        Oh wait, then it is a small step to develop an app that publishes an eBook with jokes. Or a novel…
        But by then, I hope that we humans will be able to absorb the content in ways other than a cacaphony of computer voices.

      2. I didn’t say voice should not be one way to interact naturally and intelligently with a Mac or iPad. Obviously, it should. But there must be other ways as well, that do not involve speaking.

        How should those other methods work, that go beyond what we already do today, using Siri’s AI capabilities? I don’t know… That’s for the brilliant minds at Apple to figure out.

      3. “You can’t have a crowded office, with everyone talking to their computers.”

        Ever work in a call center? Headsets and partitions work really well. It would be no different than users talking to other people on the phone. I imagine that eventually voice will be bypassed completely, and it will directly analyze our brain wave patterns as we form words and commands in the linguistic portion of our brain. Kind of a scary thought. 🙂

        1. I’m with ken1. Not all offices are call centres. Can you imagine an office full of engineers trying to resolve a technical solution when lots of people are talking to their macs? It’s bad enough when the office moron insists on playing his voicemail on hands free.

      4. People manage to hear and talk to each other in a crowded offices. There’s no reason a computer can’t theoretically do the same thing – use binaural microphones and discern what direction and distance sounds are coming from to discern individual voices.

        It might even be able to work with just a normal microphone augmented with a webcam – software could use lip reading to help separate the user’s voice from background noise.

  3. Today’s technology is the realization of yesterday’s science fiction. Look at Star Trek. We now have the “communicators”, touch panels, and the tablets that were common in those TV series. But voice recognization is still in its infancy. Apple is already working on ways of ambient sound processing so that voices can be individuated from background noise. With Siri based on AI technology, it will recognize and separate out individual voices from a crowded room quite easily. Apple’s role in telephones (cell phones) is a key ingredient towards that goal.

    It’s going to happen and Apple will be the one to bring it to the masses the way it is meant to be. They may not be the first, but they will do it right, once again.

    “Computer, tell me a joke.”

  4. Apple also created the ‘Future Shock’ video (circa 1988) that showed their vision of the future. It had an ‘assistant’, touch screen, gesture input, voice control, video conferencing, and short range wireless connectivity (kitchen scale, microwave, etc), curved glass and even something that looks similar to the Nike+ SportBand. And I bet that there are other Apple visions in this video that I haven’t even begun to recognize. Check it out… see what Apple’s vision of the future is like.

    Apple also made the Knowledge navigator video about the same time. This was Apple’s idea of what computers would be like in 2011. I wonder how much more advanced the computers would be now, if Steve had taken over Apple Research Labs like John Sculley wanted him to?

    1. There is a huge difference between doing Pie-in-the-sky scifi videos and real product research. These are an example of the former (as are MS’s courier video and there recent “touch everywhere” video)
      Sculley was an idiot and didn’t even recognize the difference (few do). SJ (obviously) does and he also recognized that with Skulley holding the reins tightly, it wouldn’t work (that realization may be the reason he gave Ive such broad autonomy.)

  5. @priused – Thank you… what incredible insight and vision. We are now just getting close to this. If Apple had filed patents and updated with advancements along the way, they would literally own the IT industry. Even the flexible screen on the Knowledge Navigator. (Don’t need the bowtie though 😉 )


  6. To me this implies that the core part of Siri, the artificial intelligence part is being integrated deep inside both iOS and OSX.
    Voice recognition is just but a part of Siri, just an input option. People make the mistake in thinking that’s where it starts and ends. People will be able to access the power of Siri with a keyboard just the same.

  7. The voice recognition on Siri is NOT Apple developed- it is licensed from Nuance- makers of Dragon Dictate. Anyone who listened to Steve Jobs comments on Siri would know that Siri was purchased as AI technology- not search or voice recognition.

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