Ever thought that one of your best friends could be not a human being? Yes, we live in an age of virtual assistant apps like Siri and Google. All you have to do is call “Hey!” and virtual assistants are ready to help. These apps are becoming an indispensable part of our life and the growing demand for them may make you think, ‘’why not create one?” How to make an app like Siri? Get an answer right away.
There are three ways to create virtual assistant apps:
Integrate ready-made voice technologies;
Apply open source services and APIs;
Create a virtual assistant application from scratch.
Before we proceed to virtual assistant apps, you may want to read these blog posts on how to make an IoT App, an AI App, and what is the cost of building an app.
Now let’s get back to business.
How SiriKit Works?
In order to understand how to make an app like Siri, let’s have a look at how it works.
The incorporation of Siri is available through SiriSDK. This SDK is composed of Intents Library and Intents UI Library.
The Intents library gets requests from the users and performs actions. For example, users can ask Siri to write a message, record a video or make a payment.
The Intents UI library visually represents the content after Siri performs the action.
The process is as follows. A speech query is sent by the users and the app transfers the parameters to the Intents library. Then the library performs the action and the score is displayed to the user.
These intents represent a set of domains. For example, intents for sending a message, searching for messages, or setting attributes on a message are integrated within the Messaging domain.
There are two subclasses for each intent — an INIntent subclass and a specific INIntentResponse subclass.
In fact, you cannot code so many ways users can talk to Siri. So, the language processing in your apps decides whether what the user is asking makes sense and can be done.
You may want to check the Intents Domain section in the SiriKit programming guide at Apple’s Developer website
Virtual Assistants and Their Integration in an App
Integration of virtual assistants in an app is done in the following three ways:
Integrate ready-made virtual solutions into your app;
Use independent voice assistant APIs;
Develop your own voice assistant and integrate it into your application.
Since a lot of entrepreneurs are interested in how to make an app like Siri, let’s go back to this virtual assistant and have a closer look at it.
Basically, Siri handles three commands — resolve, confirm and handle, and to handle the request, it should correspond to certain parameters.
In SiriKit, tasks are predefined by certain properties. When the app receives the request, the system completes the intent object and sends it back to the app extension. The app processes the data and delivers the result.
On the other hand, Google allows you to integrate an assistant in any app you build by using the Google Assistant SDK.
Google Voice Actions enables you to support Android phones, tablets, and Android Wear watches with just one API. You can drive usage of your app with Google with the help of Google Voice Actions. What happens is that users’ requests go directly to your Android app and ensure a quick and easy user experience.
And remember that Google Now is not composed of only ready-made commands. This machine can learn and analyze and make corresponding conclusions. You may be a little confused but Google has detailed documentation and it will guide you through the development stages.
How to Build Your Own AI Assistant App?
You may want to build your own AI assistant app. Let’s see how.
There are several steps to follow.
First, you have to choose an API. The following are the APIs available in the market:
If you are undecided which one to choose, the best option is to go with Api.ai. It is the most commonly used platform by developers. It can be used by iOS, Android, Node.js, Apple Watch, C++, Cordova, Phyton, Xamarin, and Unity.
The next thing to do is to decide which programming language to use. Today, AI apps are developed using Prolog, Lisp, and Python and the most commonly used is Python.
You need to use the pip command to install the following packages.
- Web browser
- Wolfram alpha
- Then you need to import the following libraries:
- import speech_recognition as sr
- import pyttsx3
- import datetime
- import wikipedia
- import webbrowser
- import os
- import time
- import subprocess
- from ecapture import ecapture as ec
- import wolframalpha
- import json
- import requests
Once you do that, you need to do testing. Testing includes analysis of the following:
- User interface
- Quality and Speed
- Memorization of user interactions.
And here you go with your new app!
When you enter the world of virtual assistants, you will notice new opportunities coming up. But the path is not easy, especially if you decide to develop the app from scratch. That’s why a lot of companies are using ready-made platforms as a starting point, instead of doing it from scratch.
On the other note, ready-made solutions have their own limitations. For example, they are tied to specific companies and their platforms.
This is why we see an infinite number of apps developed that are independent of each other. Surely, making an app like Siri on your own is time-consuming and more expensive. But in the long run, it may be well worth the effort.
Anyway, the good news is that building a virtual assistant is not rocket science anymore and it can be done. You just need to be determined to have a say in the market and find the right development company.