Siri May Soon Be Able to Whisper or Yell

Apple has decided Siri should start shouting at you, when the time is right.

Siri May Soon Be Able to Whisper or Yell

A new patent registered by Apple holds the promise of a more responsive Siri, one that can intelligently adapt to noise levels in its surroundings. This could mean Siri adjusting its speech patterns and volume, whispering or shouting when the situation demands, potentially enhancing user experience in various environments.

As reported by AppleInsider, Apple is delving into groundbreaking research on how to detect environmental noise levels and user voice patterns. This could enable Siri to respond with a yell or a whisper, a technological leap that could revolutionize voice assistant technology.

Right now, Siri will always respond at the volume set by the user, unconcerned by how loudly the request was given or noise levels nearby.

Amazon Alexa has been able to adapt to ambient noise in the environment for some time, so Apple's move could bring much-requested feature parity.

The patent says, “…an audio appliance can detect an utterance, classify a speech mode based on characteristics of the utterance, and identify conditions present in and associated with a listening environment. Based on the observed characteristics, the audio appliance can adapt the synthesis of speech, modify synthesized speech, and/or change a playback volume. Such modifications can make the output of synthesized speech intelligible in challenging environments, comfortable to listen to in other environments, or generate a whispered speech in quiet and specific environments, each of which can improve a user's experience across different listening environments.”

That's a pretty wordy way of saying that when you whisper to Siri, Siri will whisper back. If you shout or the ambient noise is deafening, Siri will yell (or at least talk loudly) back.

In practical terms, this means if you want to ask Siri something, and your household is sleeping, you can whisper your request, and Siri will respond in kind, softly confirming your instruction.

The patent also hints at a potentially life-saving feature. By monitoring the inflection in a person’s voice, Siri could potentially detect if someone is in distress and automatically contact emergency services. This could be a significant advancement in personal safety technology.

Apple has been making a concerted effort to improve Siri. iOS 14.5 brings with it better speech and some new voices, and the tech giant has been opening a lot of money on AI purchases over the last year. The future is looking bright.