Video: Apple buys defence research project to build intelligence into iPhone apps

Apple has bought Siri, a company that created an iPhone app which allows users to search the web using voice command.

Apple has bought Siri, a company that created an iPhone app which allows users to search the web using voice command. Technology blogger Robert Scoble, who works for Rackspace, described the move as "strategic" to Apple. He said in a posting, "This shows Apple is very willing to buy its way into the new mobile web and the new API-driven web. This also could be a major cornerstone in how it competes with Google."

Scoble said Siri was built as a mash-up using APIs available on the web to build a voice-controlled personal assistant app. In the posting, he wrote, "It was one of the first apps I loaded on my iPad. Why? Because you could talk to it with your voice and have it do things from getting you a taxi to having it buy movie tickets for you."

SRI is built on the CALO (Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organises) project, which the company describes as the largest artificial intelligence project in US history. It began through a five-year, $150 million project with the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) to create cognitive software systems. The aim of the project was to build IT systems that could reason, learn from experience, be told what to do, explain what they were doing, reflect on their experience, and respond robustly to surprise.

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