Apple wants Siri be even more efficient at helping iPhone users call folks on their contact lists

FIG. 8B illustrates a process for call assistance using contact suggestions.

Apple has filed for a patent (number US 20230112859 A1) for “class assistant using contact suggestion.” The goal is for the iPhone and Siri to be even more efficient at helping users call folks on their contact lists.

About the patent filing

The patent filing generally involves intelligent automated assistants and, more specifically, to call assistance using contact suggestions. In general, a user may utilize a digital assistant such as Siri to initiate an outgoing call to one or more users. In some cases, the user may speak a command to call a specific contact using a name reference corresponding to the contact. 

Apple says that, however, such commands may be difficult to interpret when using nicknames or other references not included within a contact identification field, such as a first or last name. What’s more, different spellings or pronunciations of names may complicate natural language processing. 

For example, the user may attempt to refer to a name in which the pronunciation is similar that of several different contacts. A user may also store various contact names with special characters, emojis, or other input types that are difficult to interpret when spoken. 

Apple says that an improved system for initiating an outgoing call using contact suggestions is desired.

Summary of the patent filing

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent filing: “Systems and processes for call assistance using contact suggestions are provided. For example, a first input including a name reference is received from a user. A response to the first input is provided, and a second input is received from the user.

An outgoing call event associated with a contact identifier is detected within a predetermined time from receiving the second input. In accordance with a determination that the outgoing call event satisfies a predetermined criterion, an association between the name reference and the contact identifier is stored.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.

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