According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple is planning to simplify its “Hey Siri” trigger phrase to just “Siri.” Right now, the quickest way to access Siri is to say “Hey Siri” and then add a command, but Apple wants to simplify that process by removing the “Hey” from the trigger phrase. According to reports, the company intends to implement the change either next year or in 2024.
According to Gurman, Apple has spent the last few months training the digital assistant to respond to “Siri” rather than “Hey Siri.” Although this may appear to be a minor change, Gurman notes that it requires a significant amount of AI training and engineering work because the digital assistant will need to understand the single wake word in multiple accents and dialects. The current two-word trigger phrase used by Apple increases the likelihood of Siri picking it up. According to reports, Apple has been testing the simplified trigger phrase with employees.
Switching to a single trigger word will help Apple keep up with Amazon’s Alexa, which can already respond to commands with “Alexa” rather than “Hey Alexa.” Microsoft even changed Cortana’s wake phrase from “Hey Cortana” to “Cortana” before shutting it down. Apple’s move would also put it one step ahead of Google, which still requires users to say “Hey Google” or “Ok Google” before using its services.
Gurman observes that Apple’s decision to simplify its trigger phrase will increase the speed of back-to-back requests by making it easier to string multiple requests together.
Furthermore, Gurman claims that Apple is working to integrate Siri more deeply into third-party apps and services, as well as improve the digital assistant’s ability to understand and process user commands.
The report comes as Apple has been working to improve Siri in recent years. Apple created a new Siri voice earlier this year that does not sound obviously male or female. The decision to add a gender-neutral voice saw the tech giant move away from criticism that digital assistants reinforce unfair gender stereotypes. Apple first addressed Siri concerns last year with an update that added more diverse voices and changed Siri’s voice to no longer be female by default.