Siri is the voice-activated assistant built into the iPhone 4S. It has been reported that Siri will eventually be rolled into almost all of Apple’s newest upcoming devices including their television product. Google is said to be working on a Siri competitor of their own currently known as “Assistant” by employees working on that project. Google Assistant was previously code-named “Majel.”
In 2004 Google hired Mike Cohen, whom now works as the manager of speech technology. Before that Cohen was the founder and VP Dialog R&D at Nuance Communications. This means that the company has had access to voice recognition technology for years. That technology is now being helmed by the Android team and search engineer Amit Singhal is heavily involved in this project.
The goals of Assistant are believed to be getting the world’s knowledge into a format that computers can understand. Assistant will also have a personalization layer with experiments involving Google +1 and Google+. Assistant will also have a “Do engine” that is less about returning search results and more about accomplishing real-life goals. Lastly Assistant will be available for developers to build interesting projects on top of that. Google Assistant is supposed to be arriving in the fourth quarter of 2012.