Previewed at WWDC, launching in the fall.
Steve Jobs on Siri: Acquired for Artificial Intelligence Technology, Not Search
Jobs was insistent that they aren't going to search and that the Siri acquisition had nothing to do with search:
Steve: [Siri is] not a search company. They're an AI company. We have no plans to go into the search business. We don't care about it -- other people do it well.We profiled Siri when it was acquired by Apple. Siri was focused on personal assistant technology that serves to help users accomplish tasks.
Virtual Personal Assistants (VPAs) represent the next generation interaction paradigm for the Internet. In today's paradigm, we follow links on search results. With a VPA, we interact by having a conversation. We tell the assistant what we want to do, and it applies multiple services and information sources to help accomplish our task. Like a real assistant, a VPA is personal; it uses information about an individual's preferences and interaction history to help solve specific tasks, and it gets better with experience.