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Apple’s newest assistant

by CHRISTY CUSHING Staff Writer

Siri is a new feature on the iPhone 4S that allows the user to speak to it to do anything from sending messages to making calls. Siri serves as an electronic personal assistant for its users; it can understand words, speak back, and help to do simple tasks. It can locate restaurants near its users if they say, “I’m hungry” or say the temperature if asked how warm it is outside, among hundreds of other things. To do all of these tasks, Siri uses a language user interface to communicate with its users to answer questions they may have or respond to them. Using speech instead of just touch is what made Siri stand out from its competition. While voice command technology is not new on phones, it is usually not as advanced and manageable as Apple’s Siri. Siri’s users include a vast number of people, but one of the biggest groups of people enjoying it is teenagers and students. Most say it is “a new fun feature that Apple can add to its collection.” “Like most other Apple products, Siri is really interesting, fun and inventive. While it may not be revolutionary, it’s a cool application to have,” says sophomore Sanders Mejia. Siri is considered a fun product, but it is also having a major effect on the community. Siri can assist users who need it, such as blind people who use it to communicate better and make simple things like texting easier. Sophomore Brooke Wilhalme said, “Siri is so advanced, it’s fascinating. It can understand me, as well as talk to me and, best of all, help me. If you talk to Siri, it’s almost like talking to a real, live, incredibly helpful person.” Siri’s life-like qualities have been parodied by countless websites and shows, such as an episode of the Big Bang Theory where the character imagines Siri is a real woman. While people joke about Siri, there also seems to be no way to disprove that it is advanced. Mejia said, “I see ads for Siri all the time on television and online where Siri is shown as this new and enjoyable thing and, after using it for a while, I can agree.” The technology is incredible; it exceeds anything people could have imagined a few years ago. While people may have to get used to using the new features and learning the ‘ins and outs of it,’ Siri will end up being a very useful and fun tool. Siri may not be a breakthrough in technology or even an entirely new idea, but it is helpful and interesting. The technology in Siri is also a chance for the public to get an idea of what kinds of technologies will come out next, whether it is something simple or world-changing. Siri uses the technology that can create both in the future.

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