By definition, a smart assistant will learn from their errors and thus move on to improve and perfect their competences. This dogma applies to Apple’s virtual assistant Siri, as well. In iOS 6, Siri had problems understanding some of the names users uttered, especially if the person was not a native English speaker. In such cases, people were supposed to manually type in the phonetic spellings.
But this is the perk of artificial intelligence – it can learn, thus transforming itself and the whole user interaction. With iOS 7, Siri will have a new capacity – the ability to learn how to pronounce an odd or just a not so frequent name. So, now, if you want to call your friend who has a complicated name like Bathsheba, Siri will offer several pronunciations for it and ask you to choose the one that is correct. When Siri makes a mistake in pronouncing a name, you can assume the teacher’s role and correct your virtual assistant, thus allowing it to perfect its data base. You just have to say “that’s not how you pronounce [name]”.
Such a feature might seem useful enough especially when most of the people you know have strange names, but the update hasn’t been mentioned at the WWDC 2013. With this in mind, the improvement might not make it to the iOS 7 when it finally gets released this autumn. Nevertheless, some devices that have iOS 7 mounted on them sport the feature. Some of the confirmed Siri features that are actually going into iOS 7 include Twitter, Bing and Wikipedia integration.