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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.