(Photo: Siri founders Tom Gruber, Dag Kittlaus, and Adam Cheyer)
Siri’s acquisition by Apple is official. Terms of the deal couldn’t be disclosed by Gary Morgenthaler of Morgenthaler Ventures and Shawn Carolan of Menlo Ventures, co-lead investors in Siri and collaborators with SRI International, the original developer of the core technology platform that was licensed to Siri and spun out in the fall of 2007. Their agreements with Apple stipulate that they can’t talk about the transaction or Apple’s plans for Siri. But they had some other thoughts to share with The SemanticWeb Blog about what the acquisition represents in a larger sense, and what else we may see emerge from the SRI incubator.
“What I can say is that Siri and the excitement about Siri really represents the importance of a much more connected web, a much more information-based web, and the emergence of knowledge â€“ metadata — around what the content is that’s on the web,” says Morgenthaler. “Siri embodies that, and the excitement around Siri as an independent company and potential acquisition candidate is a recognition of that.”
With approximately a quarter million downloads to its credit so far, Siri’s tapped into what the semantic web should be about â€“ making it easier to find what you need on the Web and do what you have to. “They’ve taken a lot of the complexities of the semantic web and hidden them behind an amazingly simplified user interface for users to easily get things done,” he says. “A person downloading it from the app store is not worried about RDF or ontologies but about bookinga taxi. That is the beauty of a great consumer product.”