These are the voyages of the Apple iPhone 4S, it’s ongoing mission: to boldly go where no smartphone has gone before. This morning, when Apple introduced the new iPhone 4S, there had been widespread rumors that it would have incorporated a revolutionary new voice-activated interface. However, not even the most fervent of Apple enthusiasts would have predicted Siri, the new iPhone function that leverages a highly sophisticated level of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to understand your voice commands and respond clearly and accurately.

The prospect of conducting a conversation with a handheld device may be novel enough, but Siri presents a breadth of opportunities to online marketers that have never previously existed. As is usually the case when new technological paradigms are established, the early adopters who can come up with the most powerful and compelling applications for that technology are the ones who triumph over their slower competitors.

A Game Changer

Siri is nothing less than a game changer for mobile marketing, as it paves the way for fully voice controlled automated assistants that actually work. Siri is not the stereotypical voice recognition application that types “putter on a petal stool” when you say “put her on a pedestal.” By applying a remarkably advanced AI to its voice recognition system, Apple has been able to create the most lifelike and realistic voice ever to issue from the cybersphere. Through the implementation of Siri technology, not only can your email newsletter take the form of a realistic voice more like a phone call than a marketing message, but it can be interacted with in real time.

Not for Kitchen-Table Programmers

Granted, applying AI in an email marketing campaign at this hyperelevated state is not something for kitchen-table HTML coders to tackle. However, you can be certain that in the days ahead there will be a flurry of activity as programmers provide easy-to-use Siri interfaces that will allow you to place your entire product catalog into a voice activated conversational mode and be able to answer many of the questions that your customers might pose. Any queries that stump Siri can be readily directed to your Customer Service personnel: the ones with pulses who actually demand paychecks, benefits and take up office space.

Mastering the Most Natural Human Interface

The world of high technology is dogged by products that are overhyped and ultimately underdeliver. Anyone who remembers the promises of how the Segway was going to change the urban environment forever can testify to the truth in that statement, and let’s not even mention Microsoft Vista, Olestra or the Betamax. Therefore you can’t be blamed if you are approaching with trepidation the prospect of your email marketing being driven by customers happily engaging in conversations with a piece of plastic that result in your sales levels spiking. Unlike the overhyped technoflops that came before it, the key to the effectiveness of Apple’s latest innovation is that unlike almost all of the computerdom that came before it, Siri presents an interface that can be mastered just as easily by the IT manager of a Fortune 500 corporation as it can by your grandma who still gets up off her chair to change the channel. It is an essential aspect of human life to converse, and by mastering this most natural of all interfaces, Siri is destined to become the new standard in online marketing.