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Siri Commands Machine Learning Presence

Posted on 9.07.2016

iPhone users have a love-hate relationship with iPhone's Siri, but the virtual "intelligent personal assistant" is getting some much-needed upgrades that speak to consumer expectations today.

Before the anticipated release of iOS 10, Apple announced Siri has new ways to make payments, send messages and more. Siri will be able to send payments, for instance, by voice command using Square Cash or Monzo. Using "Hey Siri" iPhone users can pay a friend for dinner, send rent to a landlord and make other peer-to-peer transactions.

Social-payments app Venmo, however, already had an integration with Siri and a security vulnerability was reported recently that allowed hackers to use "Hey Siri" to send payments on even locked phones. Even so, using voice command to conduct financial transactions reinforce the lofty expectations that consumers have for simplifying their lives (e.g., never stepping foot in a bank) and requiring technology that adapts and learns from them including with mobile commerce, IoT and more. 

Apple's recent $200 million acquisition of Turi, a machine learning and artificial intelligence company, could extend Siri's role in people's lives from powering Apple TVs, watches, phones and laptops as Siri crosses devices and continues to learn from preferences and behaviors. A machine learning thought leader, Kerry Liu, CEO of Rubikloud, believes recent announcements are indicators that consumer expectations are changing dramatically. 

“Machine learning has the power to change the way that we interact with technology," said Liu. "Consumers have come to expect personalized content that learns from their behaviors and reacts in real time. If anything falls short, they’re quick to take their business elsewhere. By increasing the efficiency and accuracy of content with enhanced machine learning algorithms, Apple is providing users a 1-to-1 customer experience, which will ultimately translate into brand loyalty and increased revenue for the company.”

So what does this mean for brands and retailers? 

“In many aspects, Apple leads the way when it comes to mobile commerce," said Liu. "This update is a sign to brands and retailers that there should be a sense of urgency toward personalized omnichannel experiences. Apple has recognized the need for machine learning in order to meet consumer demand at such a large scale. Brands and retailers who respond by integrating machine learning will be able to offer consumers the shopping experience they’re looking for. Those who don’t risk being left behind.” 

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