Siri is an Imposter!

Posted on March 16, 2012

I don’t know how many of you have the latest iPhone yet, but those of you who do will have been introduced to Siri, a voice activation device that is supposed to make life so much better for us folk who desperately want to know what the weather is going to be like in Paris this weekend. When I first talked to Siri, I thought he was a solid bloke, he just seemed like the sought of guy who would always give me a firm handshake and offer sound, if not patronising advice. I imagined him to be very knowledgeable, in his early fifties, with an attractive English rose wife, a Volvo estate and cheeky Caterham in the garage. Despite his advancing years Siri would still play cricket and score regular Sunday half centuries as his adoring wife made the afternoon teas in between reading the Sunday Telegraph supplements in the warm spring sunshine. Siri should have been called Roger or Sebastian really, someone everyone would like…..everyone except me that is, bitter and twisted with my flagging business, a career high score of 38 and a girlfriend who would rather dance naked with rattlesnakes in stinging nettles than make a cricket tea.

Apparently the name Siri comes from SRI the name of the company that created him and of course Apple are not stupid, giving him an independent name absolves them from being bias towards one nationality, though I assume every country has there very own confident version of him. Apple also know better than to call him something like Buck or Skip as an American voice would result in world wide sales going through the floor.

“What’s the weather like in London today Skip?”

 “Hey buddy, the weather in London is going to be just fine….can I talk to you about an incredible in-vest-ment opportunity here in the US ?”

“Get fucked Skip.”

Of course Siri couldn’t be working class English either, imagine if he was called Frank or Mick?

“Whats my diary looking like today Frank?”

“Ooh Hoo……You have an absolute cunt of a day lined up today me old son.”

Or Bob.

“What appointments have I got today Bob?”

“Oh…erm…err…hang on, hang on….I’ve got them here somewhere….tum tee tum…..sorry, sorry, hold on I’m sure I wrote them down……sorry, I’m going to have to call you back…….what’s your number again?……..pen, pen, pen…where are all the bloody pens when I need one…….?”

It could be even worse, imagine if he was Italian and called Gianfranco, he would send you off on a bogus appointment whilst he attempted to shag your wife.

So Siri, it has to be said, is a very good name, but the problem is, despite his confident manner, I am afraid (quite glad if I’m really honest) to say he is totally useless in reality. I find that unless I am in a completely quiet room with no background noise, all that Siri wants to say to me is “Sorry I didn’t get that?” The times when Siri would be useful are when you have your hands tied up like when you are driving, but  he is all but hopeless in these situations because of the background noise from traffic etc etc. The only place where I can see him working well is in a library, but I don’t expect it would go down too well if you bellowed out loud “What time is my appointment at the VD clinic Siri?”  In fact you would probably be asked to leave.

That’s problem with voices and technology, no one has mastered it yet, it is the Holy Grail of  the gadget phones and games industry. Any of you who have boys will have seen these Xbox FIFA Football games, they are so incredibly life like that at a glance it is hard to distinguish them from a real game. It is only when Lionel Messi scores from six inches and the commentator says “WHOAH….ONLY HE COULD DO THAT!!!” that you realise it’s just a game……well that and the fact Reading are beating Barcelona 3-1. I have also noticed that in the international games they have yet to master the graphics well enough to make Wayne Rooney’s head get redder and redder in the build up to him volleying an opponent straight in the bollocks as England get played off the park by BongoBongoland, perhaps they are working on it still.

An iPhone is a brilliant gadget on the whole,  but if you are buying one just because of Siri, don’t do it. It may seem by his voice that he is a solid all round guy, but it is all bluster, he is just like an independent financial adviser. Another imposter, just like your average Roger or Sebastian.

For the record, Siri says  “Better take an umbrella to Paris, France this weekend.” I would like to know who needs telling that Paris is in France. Someone called Buck or Skip I expect.

6 Replies to "Siri is an Imposter!"

  • Nick
    March 16, 2012 (12:17 pm)

    the reason Siri tells you that Paris is in France is because there is one in Texas – even though the accent may not be American the source code is. Given that only 20% of Americans have passports and most I met think that Scotland is “in England” I am surprised Siri does not say “Paris, France, Europe, over the sea to our right” or even “Paris, France, home to cheese-eating surrender monkeys”

  • Bob Lethaby
    March 16, 2012 (12:34 pm)

    I’m surprised that Texas has town called Paris, I would have thought the Bush empire would have renamed it. God Bless Texas….

  • Paddy
    March 16, 2012 (2:32 pm)

    Don’t believe the hype Bob – all smartphones are the same. Siri won’t work properly unless you always are connected to the internet, doesn’t consider your volume settings and always speaks as loudly as it wants to, doesn’t listen/understand properly if you don’t have a mid-atlantic accent, and can’t read emails even though it can read texts! My phone (not apple) has decided that sometimes it will appear as if the text you have just sent to a friend (usually something insulting) has in fact just been sent to the new CIO of your client. Even though it hasn’t really…

  • Sandra
    March 16, 2012 (3:45 pm)

    Hi Bob,
    I just got the new I phone and I bought it souly based on the website “Damn you Autocorrect” I laughed reading the posts so much that I went and bought one the next day. As for Siri….Siri is a lady in Canada and she is horrible. Whenever I ask her anything, she responds with…..”do you want me to look that up for you”

    • Bob Lethaby
      March 16, 2012 (4:40 pm)

      She sounds like a right condescending bitch Sandra!

  • John Newton
    March 19, 2012 (10:05 pm)

    Thanks Bob I still have a Nokia 6300 “classic” and have just realised how out of date I am….

    38 not out, not quite boileresque but still good mate.

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