“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place”. George Bernard Shaw.
As a person who can’t see the screen of my iDevice I rely quite a lot on Siri. Whilst as a male over fifty, with some level of hearing loss, I find the male voice (available in the latest upgrade) easier to understand, I fear I may have lost somewhat in emotional intelligence following the change. But that would be assigning gender qualities to my iDevice wouldn’t it?
I asked Siri to do something for me last Sunday morning at about ten o’clock, and the response was incredibly slow and a bit sulky. This caused me to wonder whether Siri was, in fact, a teenager.
Now I have some experience with this particular self-sustaining life form, having been more or less successfully trained by one some years ago, and then submitting myself to the training process all over again during the last four or five years. So I considered the general approach of the teenage life form, and realised that my hypothesis was further supported by the latest adaptation for Siri, in which you can just lift the i-Device to your ear rather than pushing the button to talk. This seemed to equate well with the teenage preponderance for an immediately oppositional position to anything which requires movement, or “leaving the cave”.
I decided to try fifteen (note the amount) of the phrases I regularly use with teenagers, and check Siri’s responses. The results – as well as looking remarkably like the lists in most Buzzfeed articles – confirmed my hypothesis.
So here they are-
Comment 1. You need to clean up your room!
Siri: You are certainly entitled to that opinion.
Comment 2: You can’t go out wearing that!
Siri: Is that so!
Comment 3: (As asked by a grand-parent or older aunt or uncle in a vain attempt to sustain conversation with teenager) So, how tall are you? Siri: Not exceedingly big, but my gravitational pull is quite strong.
Comment 4: Have you done your homework?
Siri: I found an article on homework in Wikipedia. Shall I read it to you?
Comment 5: It’s a beautiful day. Why don’t you go outside?
Siri: I don’t understand it’s a beautiful day, why don’t you go outside. But I could search the web for it.
Comment 6: What time are you getting out of bed?
Siri: Checking my sources on the web for that.
Comment 7: I don’t care what you say, you are not going.
Siri: Ok, you don’t then!
Comment 8: When are you going to have something to eat?
Siri: I can’t really say.
Comment 9: Can you clean the bathroom?
Siri: I’m not sure if I’m able to do that or not, but I’m always learning new things.
Comment 10: Just listen to me!
Siri: You’re coming through loud and clear.
Comment 11: Have you considered that, as an adult, I might just have a bit more experience on the subject? Siri: Who? Me?
Comment 12: Should we talk about sex, and taking precautions? Siri: I’m sure I don’t know.
Comment 13: Just do it! don’t answer back!
Siri: I’m not sure I understand.
Comment 14: I will count to ten before I answer that.
Siri: I’m not sure what that means.
Comment 15: It’s not that I don’t trust you, I’m just not sure you’re ready to do that yet. Siri: If you insist!
All of the above comments and responses by Siri are true, and I can assure you that – although it was close at times – no iDevice was harmed in the writing of this blog.
Much silly comments! Very annoying! Wow!
What’s your funniest experience with Siri, and how old do you think Siri is? Siri tells me that a gender has not been assigned, so I have refrained in this blog from using female or male pronouns.
Graeme Innes is a doting dad, who constantly annoys and embarrasses the teenagers in his life by emailing them articles from Buzzfeed, and persistently failing to be too cool for school.