Siri a challenge to Google search: Eric Schmidt

Nov 06, 2011
Apple's Senior Vice President of iOS Scott Forstall speaks about the new voice recognition app called Siri in California in October 2011. The voice-activated Siri assistant on Apple's iPhone 4S is a direct challenge to Google's search engine, chairman Eric Schmidt said.

The voice-activated Siri assistant on Apple's iPhone 4S is a direct challenge to Google's search engine, chairman Eric Schmidt said.

"Apple has launched an entirely new approach to search technology with Siri, its voice-activated search and task-completion service built into the 4S," Schmidt acknowledged in a written response to lawmakers released Friday by the Senate antitrust subcommittee.

He also pointed to challenges from social networks like , micro-blogging website Twitter and traditional competitors such as Microsoft's Bing.

" like Facebook and Twitter also allow users to leverage their social networks to find answers to their questions. Google is therefore competing with all methods available to access information on the Internet, not just other general search engines," Schmidt wrote.

"The source of Facebook's competition with Google is not only through using Bing to search the Internet but, also by offering users a fundamentally different way to discover and connect with information on the Internet."

Respected technology site TechCrunch has already described Siri, introduced last month, as Apple's "entry point" into the search engine business, while a Forbes commentator has called the service a "Google killer."

Schmidt's response comes as Google, which according to Internet marketing research firm has a 65.3 percent share of the US , is under investigation by US and European antitrust bodies.

But he insisted that Google was not "dominant" in Internet search, as lawmakers have contended.

"Google has many strong competitors," Schmidt wrote. "So inferring that Google is in any way 'dominant' in search would be incorrect."

He also said the company "has none of the characteristics that I associate with market power."

In September, Schmidt had already told lawmakers that Google was worried customers would quickly switch to other services.

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User comments : 6

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dogbert
3.4 / 5 (5) Nov 06, 2011
Siri is fine, but it is hardly a game changer.

Android phones already have excellent voice command systems and search capabilities.
Norezar
not rated yet Nov 06, 2011
"Google has many strong competitors," Schmidt wrote. "So inferring that Google is in any way 'dominant' in search would be incorrect."

bahaha

maccaroo
3 / 5 (1) Nov 06, 2011
Define 'dominant'. Obviously having 2/3 of the market isn't enough...
Temple
not rated yet Nov 06, 2011
Siri is fine, but it is hardly a game changer.

Android phones already have excellent voice command systems and search capabilities.


No, it really is a game changer.

Every computer and every major smartphone (including the iPhones) have had voice control for years.

What makes this very different (much different than the voice function on previous iPhones, Androids, et al) is that it does not require a rigid speech pattern. Instead Siri is all about understanding natural speech. This is very much along the lines of the Watson experiment on Jeopardy! last year.

But, while Watson is still a (very impressive) prototype, Siri is in the hands of millions of consumers, who are loving it. That is absolutely changing the game.

The most exciting thing about Siri is the fact that HOW WELL your device understands you is now a selling point. The days of checkbox voice control are over.

Everybody now has to COMPETE & INNOVATE on voice interaction quality, and it will improve quickly!
jc_french
not rated yet Nov 07, 2011
That is just a jump ahead in speech recognition research, the game is just heating up. What about recognizing Chinese? It is the " Search Engine " itself that controls the internet. Information grows exponentially and no other Search Engine will ever catch up to Google it is just a matter of statistics, Google will take ALL.
Ricochet
not rated yet Nov 07, 2011
Google's voice search is... eh... What's more of a competition to Siri is programs like Vlingo, which offer an expanded function set as well as better voice recognition, but they're also not comparable to Siri, at least for now. I imagine future versions of those programs will present themselves as contenders to Siri, if not rivals. Keep in mind that Apple's just keeping up with their role in the computer world... to be the great innovators, which other companies then adapt and move over to the PC, or in this case, the Android market.