Apple wants to make it easier to summon Siri in its ecosystem by removing the “Hey” from “Hey Siri”. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the company has been working on the change for a couple of months already and it has been a much larger undertaking than expected.
Apple aims to roll out the “Siri” callout in 2023 or in early 2024. The removal of the “Hey” requires Apple to put in a significant amount of AI training and underlying engineering work in order to get this done. It is a large-scale process that has to be done correctly in order for it to work properly.
Gurman says that the assistant will need to understand the single wake-up word in multiple accents and dialects in order for it to work. The current two-word phrase “Hey Siri” increases the chance of Siri picking up on it.
Apple is still trying to play catch-up with Amazon’s Alexa assistant which already lets users activate her by saying “Alexa” instead of “Hey Alexa”. Google is the only other assistant that requires a two-word phrase to activate it. Even Microsoft removed the “Hey” from its “Hey Cortana” assistant before the company shut down its voice assistant service last year.
According to Gurman, removing the “Hey” from “Hey Siri” isn’t the only thing Apple is working on. The company is currently working on new ways to integrate the assistant into third-party apps and services. Apple is also working on improving the ability to understand and process the user’s request.