Google Acquires Alfred, May Be Revving Up For Siri Competition

When Apple’s Siri technology rolled out for the iPhone 4 the team at Google said they had no interest in competing with the company in the personal assistant space, a position that may have changed on Wednesday with Google’s acquisition of artificial intelligence firm Alfred.

Alfred technology currently scours the web to find information about restaurants, bars and other locations that appeal to its users. While Alfred doesn’t currently offer voice to text speech there’s a good chance that it will in the future.

If Google does adapt the voice to text feature it would be a 180 degree turnaround from its statement in October in which Andy Rubin said:

“You shouldn’t be communicating with the phone; you should be communicating with somebody on the other side of the phone.”

While Google may not have been interested in the space there is a growing concern that Apple Siri technology is allowing millions of iPhone 4S users to circumvent Google’s search results and more importantly their search result ads.

If Alfred isn’t Google’s answer to Siri they may still have another plan on the horizon, according to the Google mobility experts at Android and Me the team at Google is already working on a project called code-named Majel that could be released in the next several months while allowing for natural speech processing.

Would the Google Android Smartphone platform be more appealing to you if a Siri type offering was available?