What do you want Siri, Google Now, and other digital personal assistants to learn over the next year or two?

Between Siri and Google Now, digital personal assistants are getting smarter, but there are plenty of common simple searches that they don't do right now. I have an iphone, but I appreciate that Google Now seems to learn what your common searches are. I also imagine Google Now could get smarter faster because search is what Google does and Google improves things all the time when no one is looking. That said I can only speak from my experience with iOS.

Some examples of common searches that don't work on Siri

What are the hours of Mimi's Café?

When is the next episode of Big Bang Theory?

What channel is House Hunters on?

How far is the next gas station along my route


Beyond searches a personal assistant should be able to do simple tasks. Most of this may not work well until the apps get to use a Siri API, but other useful skills would be


Buy me 4 tickets for a showing of Spiderman at Flix Brewhouse that is after 7pm

Order a pepperoni pizza from Papa John's for delivery

Record all new episodes of the Real Housewives of New Jersey (which should work even if you're away from home)

How much is a flight to Paris that leaves November 4th and returns on the fourteenth?

How long will it take for me to accomplish all the tasks in my 2Do list today?

When is my doctor's appointment?

Turn off airplane mode

Connect to my headphones via bluetooth

Launch downcast at 2am everyday

I had a sweet onion chicken teriyaki 6" at subway with sun chips and a 20 ounce water for lunch (thus recording it in loseit!)


Personal assistants are also tasked with keeping track of appointments and contacts. Some of this might work better if it were easier for apps to write on the iOS calendar. I have several time/date related apps. I would love to have one unified place to look at all that data so that I can see my appointments, tasks, holidays, tv shows, and various other events that I may opt in or out of. It would be even better if there was a view for things you have marked as important and a second view for the larger collection of events.

Group contacts so I can say ask my friends in Austin if they want to meet up to see Spiderman or collect restaurants or coworkers into groups. Even if there are apps that do this, there comes a point where more apps are not the answer for simple ideas that should just work.

I’d also like to color code contacts, especially SMS so I never text message the wrong person anything embarrassing.


What skills would you want your digital personal assistant to learn next?