Virtual assistants are destined to do much more than send memos, capture shopping lists or tell cheesy jokes — they will become one of the primary ways we interact with the ambient AI that will surround every part of our lives in the not-too-distant future.

That’s what Apple’s Steve Jobs saw in these technologies way back when he relentlessly pursued the purchase of Siri. He saw the potential of the interface to enable new platforms.

“[He] later convinced us that he understood our vision, that he wouldn't just make Siri a tiny feature but something core to Apple's strategy across multiple devices, and that we could impact the world more as part of Apple than as an independent company,” Adam Cheyer, the co-founder of Siri, explained earlier this year.

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