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The iPhone 8's Siri could get smarter with AI

Apple could outfit its Siri voice assistant with artificial intelligence, following a gathering trend of AI on phones.


Apple's Siri voice assistant picks up a few new tricks each year, but in 2017, it may get a lot brainier. The Cupertino, California-based tech titan plans to enhance Siri with artificial intelligence, DigiTimes reports.


We're hoping Siri keeps getting smarter as time passes.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

That fits with other rumors that the next iPhone, possibly called the iPhone 8, will mark its 10-year anniversary with big changes like an edge-to-edge display and glass body. A much more proactive Siri that can learn your behavior would be a welcome addition to this list.

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is a budding trend among phones for 2017. The Huawei Honor Magic (currently selling in China) claims its AI will uses sensors and settings to, in one example, only show notifications on the lock screen when it knows that you're really you. HTC's recently announced U Ultra and U Play also have AI on board to help seamlessly customize your experience (though this hasn't been tested). Apple will need to respond as the trend takes off.

Apple declined to comment on this story.

So far, Siri is behind its major competitor, Google's combination of voice search, Google Now and Google's AI Assistant (the latter just for its Pixel phones right now).

While Siri has included incremental updates and features since "she" was first introduced on the iPhone 4S back in 2011 (and boy, was she considered futuristic!), Siri can't answer follow-up questions or access different applications answer follow-up questions like Google Assistant can.

Smartphone companies are also looking to beat Siri at its own game, like Samsung, which acquired AI startup Viv Labs and could bring an AI assistant named Bixby to its Galaxy S8. LG is also reportedly in talks with Amazon and Google about bringing Google Assistant or Alexa to its upcoming G6 flagship, according to Business Korea.

Meanwhile, Amazon's own Alexa assistant has been popping up on more devices such as GE lamps and Nucleus Anywhere Intercoms, so the fact that Siri is on your Apple TV doesn't feel quite as novel as it used to.

That's not to say Apple hasn't done anything for Siri last year. In August, Apple acquired machine learning startup Turi, hinting that it is putting new resources into AI. But will big changes to the iPhone this year include big changes to Siri? We may have to wait until the fall to find out.