Less than two months after Google's mobile chief panned Siri and said Google had no interest in adding a Siri-like assistant to Android, the company yesterday announced that it has bought the tech company that makes Alfred, a personal assistant smartphone app. In a look at the move, Reuters reports that Alfred uses artificial intelligence technology to comb through the Internet to find restaurants, bars, and other locations that might appeal to you. You can't speak to Alfred right now, but analysts speculate that the technology behind it could be combined with voice recognition software to become something very similar to Apple's Siri.
While Google dismissed phone assistant software in October—"you shouldn’t be communicating with the phone; you should be communicating with somebody on the other side of the phone," said Andy Rubin at the time—there may be a growing concern that the Siri technology will allow users to bypass Google's search results ... and its ads. But for now, Google is offering few details about the purchase or its plans. (Read more Google stories.)