Apple buys virtual assistant app maker Siri

The artificial intelligence research project was spun off as an iPhone app company before landing at Apple.

Erica Ogg Former Staff writer, CNET News
Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.
Erica Ogg
Apple Siri app
A Siri mobile app Screenshot by Erica Ogg/CNET

Another day, another Apple acquisition.

On Wednesday, an application developer called Siri confirmed to the Business Insider blog that it had been acquired by Apple. There were no details about the transaction available.

Siri's main product is a mobile virtual personal assistant that allows users of the iPhone or iPod Touch, to ask questions about finding consumer goods, services, or destinations. The company developed out of an artificial intelligence project at SRI International, and was financed by DARPA.

The free iPhone app lets users speak or type questions, such as "What's a romantic place for dinner?" The app uses an algorithm that interprets the request as it applies the person's location, time, preferences, and other context. It was first demonstrated for the public at last year's D: All Things Digital conference.

This is the second Apple acquisition this week. On Tuesday, the company confirmed it had acquired Texas-based chipmaker Intrinsity. The rumored price for that acquisition was $121 million.

This post was updated at 11:48 a.m. PDT to correct the name of the non-profit where Siri originated.