Apple Wants To Drop ‘Hey’ From ‘Hey Siri’ Once Phrase: Report
Apple is said to be working on changing the wake-up phrase for its Siri voice assistant, and will change the phrase ‘Hey Siri’ to just ‘Siri’. This will make it much easier to request a voice assistant on supported devices once implemented, but the transition is said to be a technical challenge as it involves AI training and a lot of engineering work, according to the report. More words in a sentence often make it easier for voice assistants to understand the voice assistant’s pleas, so getting this right will be a challenge for Apple.
The report comes via reporter Mark Gurman Power On newsletter to Bloomberg, and says Apple has spent the past few months trying to shorten the wake-up call. Siri has long supported voice invocation by using the wake-up phrase, which has been the standard ‘Hey Siri’ until now. The company is now working on creating a ‘Siri’ name, similar to Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, which is invoked by simply saying ‘Alexa’.
Long phrases are not prone to errors, and short phrases can be pronounced differently according to languages and pronunciations around the world. Apple is said to have incorporated these challenges into its work, and is already testing simplified speech with company employees. If all goes to plan, we could see Apple products, including those on iOS, macOS, WatchOS, tvOS, and HomePod devices, working with a simplified ‘Siri’ wake-up voice.
The biggest challenge for voice assistants is errors – phrases that sound similar to the main wake-up phrase often wake up devices and make them listen to commands. This is a common problem for smart devices and smartphones with always-on microphones, as it can cause the devices to react even when no response is expected. Short wake-up phrases generally increase the chances of these errors, but are admittedly too easy for frequent users. Siri serves as the default (and in some cases, only) voice assistant on many Apple devices, including the HomePod mini and the Apple Watch range.
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