As evidenced by a new patent filing (number 20200169637), Apple wants Siri to be better able to act as a liaison between users and third party services.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that current computing devices can include functionality that enables users to communicate with each other by transmitting and receiving messages. For example, many computing devices include text and/or instant messaging functionality that enable users of the computing devices to transmit text, images, sounds, etc., to the client devices of one or more other users.
Users can use this functionality to have conversations, make plans and/or perform any other number of tasks. In addition to communicating with friends, family, etc., users can also utilize communication sessions to communicate with third party services, such as airlines, banks, customer service departments, etc.
For example, some third party services provide users with an application and/or website that includes functionality to communicate with a representative of the service. While this allows users to communicate with a representative, it also requires the user to access the third part website and/or download the service’s app.
What’s more, many third party services require a user to navigate a series of selections and/or provide a set of information prior to connecting the user to a representative. Apple says improvements are needed. Its goal seems to be to have Siri serve as a liaison between users and services such as airlines, banks, and more
Here’s the summary of the patent filing: “Disclosed are systems, methods, and non-transitory computer-readable storage media for utilizing a virtual assistant to assist a user with a communication session between the user and a third party service. A user can use a communication application to enter a message directed to the virtual assistant and request assistance to communicate with a third party service. In response, the virtual assistant can access a set of communication instructions associated with the third party service.
“The set of communication instructions can include a set of commands for communicating with the third party service, services provided by the 3.sup.rd party service and data needed by the third party service to facilitate communication. The virtual assistant can use the communication instructions to gather data needed by the third party service, communicate with the third party service and present the user with data received from the third party service.”