Yahoo Working on a Siri Competitor Too

Earlier this month, Yahoo announced that it acquired SkyPhrase for an undisclosed amount. SkyPhrase was a four-person start-up that built an "amazing" natural language processing technology, and would join the Yahoo Labs in New York. SkyPhrase believes that online services would be much more powerful if humans could tell computers what to accomplish using natural language.

"The technology we developed enables computers to understand more complex and precise human language than ever before," reads SkyPhrase's open letter to the public. "In Yahoo, we have found a company that not only shares our vision, but delivers a rich collection of information and services to a massive user base."

Now Android Police is reporting that Yahoo is putting that tech to good use in a virtual assistant similar to Google Now and Apple's Siri. The site reports that Yahoo's solution includes predictive information similar to Google Now and some of the conversation "prowess" of Siri.

According to a provided video, the user has his smartphone attached to the windshield at eye level. The assistant asked if he was going to work, and he acknowledged. The assistant then mapped out his destination, informing him that heavy traffic will cause his trip to take 17 minutes. He then said "Text Jessica," and the phone began dictating his message; it even allowed for verbal edits. Once the message was perfect, he told the assistant to "send it."

Android Police points out that this Yahoo assistant floats on top of whatever is on the screen, similar to how Facebook Chat Heads work. The Y! icon bubble sits in the top-right corner of the screen and produces information bubbles on top of a translucent screen.

Unfortunately, that's it for details for now. Maybe we'-ll hear more about this service during CES 2014 in a few weeks.

  • clonazepam
    Yahoo can kiss my butt. I opted out of their "sponsored ad" program and still have them showing up constantly in my inbox. Removing them without deleting is not intuitive. There's a '$' symbol in place of the box you would check to delete. You can still use the 'check all' selection at the top to remove them, without reading. Sneaky lil #$%()#... ok ok not really a big deal, but when I tell them I've opted out, it'd be nice to be taken seriously.

    As for this, I don't consider Yahoo! a serious player anymore. The account is vital to me however, as I do use it for one specific purpose... one forum and comments section I am very fond of hehe
  • dns7950
    Yahoo still exists?!?! :O
  • Grandmastersexsay
  • Pherule
    I once used Yahoo mail as my primary email. Then I discovered if I didn't log in for 3 months, they deleted all my mails! Needless to say, I switch to Gmail very quickly. The latest is that Yahoo have made a decision to drop all "unused" email accounts to allow new people to register with those accounts again.

    Well, what if I don't want my accounts that I haven't used for 2 years to be stolen? What if I had sensitive data still coming in? Emails are also used for a lot of account verification for a lot of services and websites, so where does all that security go? I don't care if I haven't accessed my mail account in 3 days, 6 months, or 13 years. I expect my old mails to still be there or I *WILL* go elsewhere.

    I will never support Yahoo again. That company needs to die in a fire.
  • @Pherule
    Every mail service provider does that. Google may delete your account if it remains inactive for 9 months:
    They probably only do this if they need more space or someone else creates a new account under the same name, which explains why some people managed to log in even after several years of inactivity.

    You may think you're entitled to keeping an account that's been inactive for up to 13 years, but the reality is different: if you don't pay for your account, don't expect that kind of premium service.
    Sensitive mails? They can't be that sensitive, if they land on a free mail account that hasn't been visited for such an extended period of time.

    Not that I care about Yahoo, but you seriously need to rethink your life.
  • anonymous_user
    12260439 said:
    The account is vital to me however, as I do use it for one specific purpose... one forum and comments section I am very fond of hehe
    So you cannot change the email address used for that forum?
  • phatboe
    Pherule, complaining about a free service he does even not use. Wow. Yahoo is fine. Almost every online service will boot you off after a certain length of time inactive.
  • egilbe
    I wish Yahoo would work on their content and website before spending money on something that is kinda silly. Fix their email, fix the website, have some actual content. Its not that difficult to understand, I would think.
  • yay
    There were no features mentioned Google now doesn't have, let alone offline mode as well.

    Good luck yahoo!
  • sunflier
    <b>nice</b> <quote>hmm</quote>