Los Angeles – The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office unveiled a patent application continuation Thursday that Apple Inc. filed earlier this year seeking a patent for its Siri voice assistant feature on the iPhone.
The patent application, originally filed in June and titled “Intelligent automated assistant,” describes a system that engages with the user in an integrated, conversational manner using natural language dialogue, and invokes external services when appropriate to obtain information or perform various actions.
The system can be implemented using any of a number of different platforms, such as the web, email, smartphone or any combination of those platforms.
In one embodiment, the system is based on sets of interrelated domains and tasks, and employs additional functionality powered by external services with which the system can interact, according to the patent description.
In various embodiments of the invention, an intelligent automated assistant is implemented on an electronic device to facilitate user interaction with that device, and to help the user more effectively engage with local and remote services.
The invention can be used to discover, investigate, select among, reserve, and otherwise learn about things to do, places to go, places to eat or drink, times and places to meet others, and any other source of entertainment or social interaction which may be found on the Internet, the patent description says.
“Today’s electronic devices are able to access a large, growing, and diverse quantity of functions, services, and information, both via the Internet and from other sources,” the patent background says. “Many users may have difficulty even discovering what functionality and/or information is available on their electronic devices or on various websites; thus, such users may become frustrated or overwhelmed, or may simply be unable to use the resources available to them in an effective manner.”
“Existing systems are often difficult to use and to navigate, and often present users with inconsistent and overwhelming interfaces that often prevent the users from making effective use of the technology,” the patent background says.
The inventors are listed as Thomas Robert Gruber, Adam John Cheyer, Dag Kittlaus, Didier Rene Guzzoni, Christopher Dean Brigham, Richard Donald Giuli, Marcello Bastea-Forte and Harry Joseph Saddler.
Kittlaus is a co-founder of the company that originally developed Siri, which Apple bought. Kittlaus left Apple in 2011 after the debut of Siri on the iPhone 4S.