SIRI RISING: The Inside Story Of Siri's Origins -- And Why She Could Overshadow The iPhone
The world got its first inkling of the quick wit that would make Apple’s Siri an icon during a packed press conference held before an auditorium of tech elite.
"Who are you?" an Apple executive asked the assistant.
“I am a humble personal assistant,” Siri answered to appreciative laughter.
More like humbled personal assistant. That press conference was actually Siri's second coming-out party. When the virtual assistant first launched in early 2010, it was a standalone iPhone app called Siri created by a 24-person startup with the same name, a company Apple would later acquire.
Back then, Siri boasted an even more irreverent tone -- and a more robust set of skills. Like fiction writers dreaming up a character, Dag Kittlaus, Siri's co-founder and chief executive, and Harry Saddler, a design expert, had carefully crafted the assistant's attitude and backstory. It was to be "otherworldly," "vaguely aware of popular culture" and armed with a "dry wit," Kittlaus says.