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Published February 09, 2010

Yes, Siri
A Personal Assistant for Your Pocket

When you speak, people listen.

Children gather at your feet. Birds cease their song. The clouds part ways.
 
It's time your phone fell in line.

Welcome to Siri, a truly frightening (but compelling) personal assistant app that responds to your every spoken command, available now.

In short, it's like having an eager-to-please, reservation-making, order-taking robot that fits into your pocket. It basically does what a real assistant does—you make a request ("reservations for two at Bouchon"), and it uses a mysterious combination of searching the Web, consulting its own extensive database of neighborhoods and hot spots, and pixie dust to make it happen. (Be warned: you will eventually have to click once to secure your table.)

So if you want to find out who's playing the Garden tonight (the Knicks) and if tickets are available (yep), all you have to do is ask. Same goes for the movies, and for finding out key bits of info like whether your boss's flight is delayed or the average temperature in Barbados this time of year. And like any good assistant, it knows you better than you know yourself: say, for instance, "Good sir, I believe my sobriety has momentarily escaped me," and it will call you a cab.

And make you pancakes in the morning.
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