Gurman: Apple May Announce Drop of 'Hey Siri' Trigger Phrase at WWDC
Apple may announce a major change to Siri that would move away from the "Hey Siri" trigger phrase currently required to invoke the virtual assistant hands-free at next week's WWDC keynote, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.
In a new tweet, Gurman reiterated that the change to the Siri trigger phrase may be among next week's announcements. In November, Gurman reported that Apple is working on a way for Siri to be able to understand and respond to commands without the need to use "Hey Siri" as a trigger-phrase. Instead, users will simply need to say "Siri."
The company is working on an initiative to drop the "Hey in the trigger phrase so that a user only needs to say "Siri"—along with a command. While that might seem like a small change, making the switch is a technical challenge that requires a significant amount of AI training and underlying engineering work.
The complexity involves Siri being able to understand the singular phrase "Siri" in multiple different accents and dialects. Having two words — "Hey Siri" — increases the likelihood of the system properly picking up the signal.
The change would bring Siri closer to Amazon's voice assistant, which can be triggered simply by beginning a command with "Alexa." At the time, Gurman added that Apple is also working on deeper Siri integrations with third-party apps and services to provide better assistance thanks to additional context.
Gurman initially said that the changes to Siri are expected to roll out sometime in 2023 or 2024, but his latest tweet suggests that it remains a distinct possibility for WWDC next week. Apple's mixed-reality headset is rumored to feature voice controls, so improvements to Siri would likely go hand-in-hand with the announcement of the new device.