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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Jason Snell for iMore

The quest for a smarter Siri ↦

There’s been a lot of talk about voice-controlled assistants lately, spurred on by the apparent success of the Amazon Echo and Google’s promotion of its own assistant at Google I/O in May. And when there’s any tech topic under discussion, the conversation seems to inevitably turn to Apple. Apple brought voice assistants into the public consciousness with the launch of Siri nearly five years ago, but there seems to be a general sense of unease about the current state of Siri.

It’s natural, really. The weeks between Google I/O and Apple’s own developer conference are traditionally full of analysis of all the ways Apple is trailing behind Google, and much of it will be nullified or countered by the time Apple wraps up its keynote event. But the pace of Siri improvements has seemed a little slow the past few years, and both Google’s tech demos and Amazon’s clever Echo have definitely whet our collective appetites in terms of what will come next for Apple’s remarkably high-profile voice assistant.

The challenge for a technology like Siri is that we all know what the end point is: It’s an in-ear assistant that knows everything and is indistinguishable from a real person, like the ones in the movie “Her.” The challenge for Apple, Google, and Amazon is that we’re a long way off from that. How do we get from here to there? Here’s my own personal wish list.

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