Siri 2.0: How to serve me better

Siri is a useful utility on the iPhone that performs many tasks for owners, despite the early beta nature of the technology. Here's what I want from Siri 2.0.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor

Siri on iOS is one of those technologies that people either find really helpful or downright sinister. For some people the thought of an artificial intelligence lives inside their phone is more than they can bear, while others embrace the technology for the help it can provide. Earlier this year, long before we knew about Siri, I wrote about my ideal smartphone of the future, and how it should leverage what it learns about me over time to help make my life easier. What I described is basically what I want from the next iteration of Siri.

See also: I am ready for a smartphone that "gets" me

My smartphone is with me all the time, and performing more tasks for me than any other device I use. It only makes sense that Siri 2.0 could extend her benefits from merely responding to spoken requests to more anticipatory functions.

From my earlier article:

I want my phone to learn how I regularly do things, when I do them and where I do them, all by watching what I do. The smartphone should learn my regular behavior by observation, and then use that information to make my life easier.

This is just common sense to me, that Siri 2.0 should learn by noticing the things I do regularly, and then offer to help make those things easier for me to do. If I meet with my team members at work on every Tuesday at 10 AM, should a week pass with no calendar entry for the meeting I would like Siri to ask me without prompting if there will be a meeting that week. This ensures I haven't forgotten about the meeting, or perhaps jogs my memory that I haven't scheduled a new meeting time.

I find that the initial version of Siri is pretty good at understanding requests I make, and then providing the desired information. I use Siri all the time to set up reminders and schedule events as needed. I want Siri 2.0 to expand on that, in areas that don't require my intervention.

Anything I do regularly on my phone, I want Siri to note that in the background, then remind me if I fail to do so as usual. I should be able to wave Siri's reminder away in case today is just different than usual, but I want the reminder just in case.

I would like to see Siri 2.0 ramp up how it uses geolocation, and make suggestions to me (if configured to do so) based on where I am. The current reminder system with geolocation is very useful to me, as I often tell Siri to remind me to do something when I get home (or some other location). I would like to see Siri make better use of geolocation to remind me of things I don't think of myself.

If I change the oil in my car every three months, then Siri 2.0 should notice that and remind me when it's time to do so. Carrying that further, Siri could use geolocation to make such a reminder when I am close to the shop for the oil change at the appropriate time.

I want Siri 2.0 to expand the role of personal assistant into areas that make sense in my daily life. I can't always thing of everything I need to tell Siri to do for me, so I want her to learn from the things I do and help me out with those.

Are there other areas you would like to see Siri get better to help you out? Or do you have concerns about privacy that you think override the benefits I have described? Let me know in the comments and let's discuss it.

Image credit: Flickr user mikemccaffrey

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