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Android Developers Create Siri Rival "Iris" in 8 Hours

By - Source: Dexetra | B 107 comments

Who needs Siri when you have the lovely Iris telling you how she feels on Android smartphones?

While Android boss Andy Rubin told an AsiaD audience that smartphone users should talk to people, not to their devices (essentially poking a stick as Apple's new Siri feature on the iPhone 4S), an Android development team named Dexetra was hard at work creating a rival product called "Iris."

Sorry Andy, but even the developer community thinks interaction with an Android smartphone would be cool, and it only took Dexetra six to eight hours to create the first alpha version. Of course, Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" will feature a much-improved voice input engine, but whatever.

"It started out as a lazy Friday with half our team missing, the influx of tweets and posts on the 'Awesome Siri' were flying everywhere," reads the company blog on October 14. "Suddenly, I got the urge to do something similar for Android. Since we have been working on NLP and Machine learning for over an year now, I had a crazy belief that I could pull this off. Somehow I managed to write a tiny engine that could answer your questions, digging the results from the web."

One week later, the revised alpha looks nothing like it did before, moving beyond mere questions to allow further conversations about the same topic. "Even ask her how she is feeling today, whether she likes something etc. You can also try those Siri like wacky questions and Iris will give you sarcastic answers," the company said on Friday.

To test this, I asked Iris how she felt today. At first she responded with an "Oi," but when I asked again, she decided she felt sleepy. Not really knowing what to ask a female AI next, I asked her about the weather. She pondered over my silly question for a moment, and then said it was sunny actually, "it's like proper spring."

"Will it rain?" I asked. I planned to go stretch my legs after having my little conversation. She promptly told me that a typhoon was coming. Oh yea? And where exactly is this typhoon given that I'm on the east coast?

"On the earth, duh," she responded in her flat-but-edgy electronic voice. Smartass.

"Are you my new girlfriend?" I then asked, creeping myself out a bit. I hoped that no one was hearing me.

I got a flat nope, duly rejected by an Android phone. Surprisingly discouraged, I asked if she hated me. She responded with a prompt "no, I don't hate anyone. Hate is a useless emotion."

"Do you have any emotions, Iris?" Not even Mr. Data has emotion unless he fires up that special chip in his head.

"Yes," she responded. "I do have emotions."

After that, I turned off the app and clicked the phone into standby mode. That was enough Iris for me today, thank you very much.

In addition to the whole conversation mode (which is admittedly fun and creepy at the same time), the new and improved Iris now pulls up images and links when possible, is a lot faster than the previous alpha build, and is reportedly more intelligent. "We have added a few more fact engines to the mix," the company said. "Now iris has an enhanced knowledge base. So expect more questions to be answered."

To get Iris loaded up on your Android device, head here. Your new robotic assistant (girlfriend) will also require "Voice Search" and "TTS Library" apps to be installed if they aren't already. Now if she just had an actual face...

Siri vs iRis [SassiBoB Review]

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Top Comments
  • 38 Hide
    spentshells , October 23, 2011 2:28 AM
    And 8 hours later apple filed papers to sue them.
  • 27 Hide
    lp231 , October 23, 2011 2:33 AM
    Siri, Iris? Pure genius!
    Iris sounds better, Siri is more like Slurry, Slurpee, Slushee
  • 23 Hide
    silver565 , October 23, 2011 2:26 AM
    Lol apple will be SO pleased
Other Comments
  • 23 Hide
    silver565 , October 23, 2011 2:26 AM
    Lol apple will be SO pleased
  • 38 Hide
    spentshells , October 23, 2011 2:28 AM
    And 8 hours later apple filed papers to sue them.
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , October 23, 2011 2:32 AM
    Yay! Now I can say that I don't use Siri/Iris because I don't give a shit, rather than because I don't own an iPhone. Take that smug Apple iHoles.
  • 27 Hide
    lp231 , October 23, 2011 2:33 AM
    Siri, Iris? Pure genius!
    Iris sounds better, Siri is more like Slurry, Slurpee, Slushee
  • 20 Hide
    AbdullahG , October 23, 2011 2:41 AM
    Why didn't you ask Iris about her thoughts on Siri?
  • 15 Hide
    stereopsis , October 23, 2011 2:49 AM
    In 8 hours...impressive.
  • 9 Hide
    stonedatheist , October 23, 2011 2:54 AM
    Iris: "You asked: You're a asterisk asterisk asterisk asterisk asterisk asterisk idiot. No, I'm male."
    SassiBoB: "What?"

    LMAO
  • 15 Hide
    lp231 , October 23, 2011 2:55 AM
    Android to Apple:
    I know what your thinking, You're gonna sue me.
    Well, I got two words for ya!
    Byte Me! Byte Me!
  • 14 Hide
    Yuka , October 23, 2011 3:02 AM
    Everyone: "Iris, do you think Apple is going to sue your creator?"
    Iris: "Well, DUH!"

    Cheers! xD!
  • -9 Hide
    Anonymous , October 23, 2011 3:03 AM
    Six to eight hours? If it was really so easy to do, why did they wait for Apple to come out with it first?
  • 16 Hide
    Anonymous , October 23, 2011 3:05 AM
    +1 for open source
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , October 23, 2011 3:12 AM
    "Andy Rubin: smartphone users should talk to people, not to their devices ". Hilarious. Wonder whether he told "Google Search By Voice" Team to not to talk to their computers.

    buzzintechnology.com
  • 5 Hide
    neoverdugo , October 23, 2011 3:17 AM
    So soon? That was quick. The next question would be: How long apple will wait before it sue google for siri counterpart?
  • 10 Hide
    SoiledBottom , October 23, 2011 3:31 AM
    Never mind Iris or Siri after watching the video I'm thinkng cleavage
  • 7 Hide
    alidan , October 23, 2011 3:32 AM
    lp231Siri, Iris? Pure genius!Iris sounds better, Siri is more like Slurry, Slurpee, Slushee


    damn you, now my craving for a slushy has returned, and the only way to quench it within driving distance is a theater,
  • 6 Hide
    AbdullahG , October 23, 2011 3:33 AM
    geoff12345Six to eight hours? If it was really so easy to do, why did they wait for Apple to come out with it first?

    When Android FIRST FOUND OUT about Siri, they decided to bring competition in the AI field. In 8 hours and being one heck of an AI, Iris is impressive.

    animegeek32Did anyone notice that Iris is "Siri" spelled backwards?

    Yeah, just Android poking at Siri.

  • -4 Hide
    jryan388 , October 23, 2011 3:36 AM
    It's not 8 hours, people! First of all, this an alpha product. Not even close to ready for deployment. Second of all, did you not read the part about them working on the NLP and machine learning for over a year?
  • 3 Hide
    limpman , October 23, 2011 3:38 AM
    are you guys kidding me android already have same kind of aps from long time ago before siri's birth...go to android market and serch voice actoins....
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