Reporter Mark Gurman from Bloomberg has revealed that Apple has been working on an improvement to Siri, its AI voice assistant for several months. Apparently Apple is working on removing the word “Hey” from the “Hey Siri” wake phrase. In the future, users will just simply say “Siri” to get the voice assistant’s attention.
Why Removing The ‘Hey’ from ‘Hey Siri’ Is So Technically Complicated
Developers at Apple have already been working on the project for months. The company has been testing the simplified wake word with employees and collecting the necessary training data. But the change isn’t expected to be rolled out until later in 2023 or even 2024.
Wait, it’s taking Apple two years to do this?! Why would such a small change take so long to implement? Apple is just dropping a single word from their wake words phrase, right?
It’s actually much more complicated than it sounds. Removing half of the trigger phrase makes it harder for Siri to accurately pick up and respond to requests. This is especially true with international users. Siri has to be able to understand the word “Siri” spoken in multiple different accents and dialects.
Having just two words — “Hey Siri” — can significantly increase the likelihood that the system will correctly pick up the signal, Gurman explained.
Simplifying The Wake Words For AI Voice Assistants
If you omit the “Hey” when addressing Siri, the voice assistant will function more like Amazon’s Alexa, which does not require such a prompt. And Apple is not the only company making this simple change to their AI wake word prompts. Google is also reportedly working on removing the need to repeat “Hey Google” or “Okay Google,” according to Gurman.
Apple’s Efforts To Improve Siri
Apple has been putting a lot of effort into Siri lately. The removal of ‘Hey’ from Siri’s wake words is just the latest in a string of improvements that Apple has been making to their AI voice assistant.
Apple has also been working on additional changes to improve their voice assistant’s ability to understand users and take appropriate action. This includes integrating Siri more deeply into third-party apps and services.
Last year, Apple added a gender-neutral voice to iOS 15.4 and also redesigned the Siri interface in the Apple TV 16.1 OS update.
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Frank Wilson is a retired teacher with over 30 years of combined experience in the education, small business technology, and real estate business. He now blogs as a hobby and spends most days tinkering with old computers. Wilson is passionate about tech, enjoys fishing, and loves drinking beer.