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Siri updated to give witty responses to 'best smartphone ever' query

post #1 of 81
Thread Starter 
When asked for the "best smartphone ever," Siri will now provide a range of witty responses to users rather than giving details on the Nokia Lumia 900.

Last week it was noted that asking Siri "What is the best smartphone ever?" would return results from WolframAlpha on Nokia's Windows Phone handset. The result was returned based on a total of just four user reviews, with an average score of 5 out of 5.

The key word in the query was "ever," because asking Siri for just the "best smartphone" would generate responses such as, "The one you're holding." But asking Siri for the "best smartphone ever" returned details on the Nokia Lumia 900.

As of Monday, asking Siri for the "best smartphone ever" now returns the same humorous results, including, "You're kidding, right?"

Siri remains a "beta" service, and it is advertised as such on Apple's official website. The voice-driven personal assistant software is currently only available on the iPhone 4S.

Siri


The unique personality of Siri is one of its defining features, an intentional design that Apple believes will help it create an emotional tie with customers. The development team behind Siri focused on keeping the software "friendly and humble — but also with an edge," a profile in The Wall Street Journal revealed last October.

Siri offers a number of humorous responses to users, such as providing a list of mines and swamps when asked where to "hide a body." And quoting the Stanley Kubrick movie "2001: A Space Odyssey" with the line "Open the pod bay doors" will generate the dialogue from the computer HAL 9000 in the movie: "I'm afraid I can't do that."
post #2 of 81

"Updated"? It has ALWAYS done this.

 

Ugh… this is nowhere near story-worthy. I think posts like this should be added in-line with the original story.

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post #3 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

"Updated"? It has ALWAYS done this.

 

Ugh… this is nowhere near story-worthy. I think posts like this should be added in-line with the original story.

 



No, read the article - if you added ever to the question it would do the web search. They changed the back end to respond with the witty answer regardless of adding "ever" to the end or not.  It mattered before.

post #4 of 81

Witty, maybe.

 

But doesn't this diminish the credibility of Siri? 
 

post #5 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post
No, read the article - if you added ever to the question it would do the web search. They changed the back end to respond with the witty answer regardless of adding "ever" to the end or not.  It mattered before.

 

Seems wasteful to have to change that manually every time a new iPhone's released.

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post #6 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

"Updated"? It has ALWAYS done this.

 

Ugh… this is nowhere near story-worthy. I think posts like this should be added in-line with the original story.

 

I was able to invoke the Nokia response previously.  I am now unable to invoke the Nokia response.

 

Probably not story-worthy though.

post #7 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

Witty, maybe.

 

But doesn't this diminish the credibility of Siri? 
 

You forgot to add the "/s" tag at the end of your post, right?

post #8 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post

 



No, read the article - if you added ever to the question it would do the web search. They changed the back end to respond with the witty answer regardless of adding "ever" to the end or not.  It mattered before.

 

The response wasn't a web search, the now infamous Nokia response was data from Wolfram Alpha.

 

Additionally, the question must have previously contained "smartphone" not "smart phone" and "ever" (as you suggested).

post #9 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

Witty, maybe.

But doesn't this diminish the credibility of Siri? 


Yes, it significantly diminishes the credibility of Siri.

If Apple can tailor the results that Siri provides to put a self-promoting positive marketing spin on the answers, the results Siri provides have lost their credibility.


Apple made a significant error with this change.
post #10 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

You forgot to add the "/s" tag at the end of your post, right?

 

Sorry, but no sarcasm was intended.

 

Siri is supposed to be an information valet, capable of delivering answers to queries ranging from finding a restaurant to solving the roots of an equation. If Apple games the Siri engine to be flippant from time to time, how do we know when we are getting a serious answer?  Or will Siri add the "/s" tag?  lol.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by camper View Post


Yes, it significantly diminishes the credibility of Siri.
If Apple can tailor the results that Siri provides to put a self-promoting positive marketing spin on the answers, the results Siri provides have lost their credibility.
Apple made a significant error with this change.

 

Significant error? I'd not go that far.

post #11 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

"Updated"? It has ALWAYS done this.

In the United States it just offered to search, and I gather in the UK it displayed what this article suggests. So its behavior wasn't quite as the article (old or new) suggested, but a custom response is a new change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by camper View Post

Apple made a significant error with this change.

No, they didn't. Siri offers a wide range of sarcastic and humorous responses to non-serious questions and this is right along the lines of other questions which can earn similar responses. No need to be so serious.
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post #12 of 81

I am confounded by the concept that an article that is not story-worthy can be comment-worthy :)

post #13 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

Witty, maybe.

 

But doesn't this diminish the credibility of Siri? 
 


I know!  Now I'm wondering if she was being truthful when she told me how much wood a woodchuck chucked.  She is a wily mistress.

post #14 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by camper View Post


Yes, it significantly diminishes the credibility of Siri.
If Apple can tailor the results that Siri provides to put a self-promoting positive marketing spin on the answers, the results Siri provides have lost their credibility.
Apple made a significant error with this change.

Hey camper, I just took a look at your posting history: Looks like you've been waiting for Apple to do down at least since 2009, haven't you? How's that working out for ya?

post #15 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

Witty, maybe.

But doesn't this diminish the credibility of Siri? 

 

Here come the lawyers suing Apple for providing misleading answers. After all, the whiners here say that misleading marketing is illegal.......

/s
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post #16 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

 

Sorry, but no sarcasm was intended.

 

Siri is supposed to be an information valet, capable of delivering answers to queries ranging from finding a restaurant to solving the roots of an equation. If Apple games the Siri engine to be flippant from time to time, how do we know when we are getting a serious answer?  Or will Siri add the "/s" tag?  lol.gif

 

 

Significant error? I'd not go that far.

 

Really?

 

You think Siri would be more credible if it recommended the Nokia Lumia (or whatever it's called) as the best smartphone ever?

 

You're certainly welcome to your world....lol.gif

post #17 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

I am confounded by the concept that an article that is not story-worthy can be comment-worthy :)


Yeah, but if I'm flipping through TV channels and my friend stops at Jerry Springer and I comment, "Oh my god, this show is absurd," it doesn't count as me lending it credibility.  Sometimes the banter is just casual.

post #18 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

I am confounded by the concept that an article that is not story-worthy can be comment-worthy :)

Obviously, not confounded enough to post multiple times.....

post #19 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

Witty, maybe.

But doesn't this diminish the credibility of Siri? 
They included the word "ever" into their previous canned response so now Siri has no credibility?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Seems wasteful to have to change that manually every time a new iPhone's released.
What has to be changed manually every time a new device is released. The canned responses are general. As I stated when this story first broke they can and will adjust this quickly since it's a simple backend configuration. This is how Siri will evolve. This is why Siri couldn't be back room beta until it was ready for primetime. As we've seen Apple has been updating Siri's results since it was first released with the iPhone 4S.

Quote:
Originally Posted by camper View Post

Yes, it significantly diminishes the credibility of Siri.
If Apple can tailor the results that Siri provides to put a self-promoting positive marketing spin on the answers, the results Siri provides have lost their credibility.
Apple made a significant error with this change.
So you want Siri that has no tailored results from Apple? You clearly don't know what a digital personal assistant program is. The whole point is for it to understand communities and individuals so that phrases can be responded to in ways that are natural to humans. You getting upset over a comical response to an unserious query is absolutely stupid.

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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post #20 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Here come the lawyers suing Apple for providing misleading answers. After all, the whiners here say that misleading marketing is illegal.......
/s

 

Please do not take my comments and exaggerate them just so you can ridicule them. It's a low tactic that demeans yourself.

post #21 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


They included the word "ever" into their previous canned response so now Siri has no credibility?
 

 

I meant to say that gaming the responses in some instances reduces credibility. But I guess you want to nitpick the fact that this was already an unreliable response before, then you have a point.

 

Sigh ...

post #22 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Obviously, not confounded enough to post multiple times.....

 

I was not the one who deemed this story unworthy.

 

Do you participate solely to twist other people's comments just to mock them? What purpose does that serve in your life? Not getting any?

post #23 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

 

Sorry, but no sarcasm was intended.

 

Siri is supposed to be an information valet, capable of delivering answers to queries ranging from finding a restaurant to solving the roots of an equation. If Apple games the Siri engine to be flippant from time to time, how do we know when we are getting a serious answer?  Or will Siri add the "/s" tag?  lol.gif

 

 

Significant error? I'd not go that far.


Yes, but I think the point is that Siri gives factual answers..."she" doesn't make qualitative judgment calls.  If you ask, "what phone has the fastest processor," etc, you'll get what you're looking for (...umm, respectively), but I don't think Apple (or anyone) wants to program a device with that kind of liability.  Best to make a joke out of it.  Sure, they're avoiding the silly exposure regarding the Nokia phone, but it does make sense that they'd remove qualitative, judgment laced search results. 

post #24 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

Sorry, but no sarcasm was intended.

Siri is supposed to be an information valet, capable of delivering answers to queries ranging from finding a restaurant to solving the roots of an equation. If Apple games the Siri engine to be flippant from time to time, how do we know when we are getting a serious answer?  Or will Siri add the "/s" tag?  lol.gif

How is a computer program suppose to know what is the best smartphone ever? What is the best TV show ever? What is the best sneaker ever? How do you "factualize" qualitative superlatives? It's not like asking what the best number is which we all know is 5,318,008 (t's spells BOOBIES in a calculator when you turn it upside down).

If you don't know a flippant answer is "the one you're holding" or "You're kidding, right?" then there is nothing anyone can say that can make you think otherwise. Could Apple game the system, sure, but so can any other SW. You're taking issue with the word "ever" being included as part of the canned responses that existed from day one which is fraking silly.
Edited by SolipsismX - 5/14/12 at 9:00am

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post #25 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol77 View Post


Yeah, but if I'm flipping through TV channels and my friend stops at Jerry Springer and I comment, "Oh my god, this show is absurd," it doesn't count as me lending it credibility.  Sometimes the banter is just casual.

 

Good observation. Some folks here do fit in well in a Jerry Springer audience (e.g. analsundarm). Thanks.

post #26 of 81

They have'nt got all variants of the query sorted yet

 

"What is a better Smartphone?" still gives the Nokia Lumia 900

 

And we all know Apple's preferred reply should be "Wait until October and see"

post #27 of 81
I personally don't like changes from his because we are one step away from being advertised to with Siri responses. It's no different from a search ad.
post #28 of 81

I wonder if it's hard coded to that particular phrase, or if they changed the algorithm to better understand the phrasing and the redundant (in this case) use of the word "ever".

 

Don't care about the former, but the latter shows that they're actively improving Siri, even if in a somewhat facile way.

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post #29 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

 

I was not the one who deemed this story unworthy.

 

Do you participate solely to twist other people's comments just to mock them? What purpose does that serve in your life? Not getting any?

On that issue, I was wondering: do you participate solely to twist AI stories to fit your anti-Apple persona? What purpose does it serve in your life? Not getting any?

post #30 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

Witty, maybe.

But doesn't this diminish the credibility of Siri? 

 

Here come the lawyers suing Apple for providing misleading answers. After all, the whiners here say that misleading marketing is illegal.......

/s

 

They are not whiners.

Only some is illegal.

The topic was advertising, and not marketing.

 

One sentence. Three strikes.


Edited by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz - 5/14/12 at 9:12am
post #31 of 81

Does the phrase "lighten up Francis" ring any bells?

 

Just as a passing observation, the immediate resort to "not getting any" really unqualifies your responses as something to be taken seriously as commentary.

 

OTOH, perhaps your sense of humor is simply unequal to the task this Monday morning, and a step back-deep breath-adjust attitude moment is in order. I know I have Mondays that challenge my sense of humor and proportion.

 

Note I gave you the benefit of the doubt, now can you extend the same to others.

 

Watching and waiting....

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post #32 of 81

Personally, I think that Iraq should begin using the Euro, it would help dog breeders in Rio.
 

na na na na na...
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na na na na na...
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post #33 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

How is a computer program suppose to know what is the best smartphone ever? What is the best TV show ever? What is the best sneaker ever? How do you "factualize" qualitative superlatives? It's not like asking what the best number is which we all know is 5,318,008 (t's spells BOOBIES in a calculator when you turn it upside down).
If you don't know a flippant answer is "the one you're holding" or "You're kidding, right?" then there is nothing anyone can say that can make you think otherwise. Could Apple game the system, sure, but so can any other SW. You're taking issue with the word "ever" being included as part of the canned responses that existed from day one which is fraking silly.

Wrong. The best number is 73.

http://youtu.be/FlXmENQbdgA?t=9s
post #34 of 81
It's funny. A funny set of canned responses to a silly question, silly as it is subjective. This is simply humor. Sorry if this offends anyone here but those suggesting this is demeaning Siri need to get out more and get some fresh air!

I still say the new AI sucks on the iPad!
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post #35 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Personally, I think that Iraq should begin using the Euro, it would help dog breeders in Rio.
 


I'll bridge the gap between the topic and your well placed non sequitur by saying I'd enjoy comments like this from Siri...but it is not meant to be. 

post #36 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

Witty, maybe.

 

But doesn't this diminish the credibility of Siri? 
 

Credibility? This is Wolfram Alpha's top 5 smartphone list, which Siri culled the result from:

 

Screen%20Shot%202012-05-14%20at%2011.27.20%20AM.png

 

For laughs, Google #2. 

#3 is a failed HP tablet no longer on sale (yes, in smartphone results)

 

Credible indeed. I'm sure whatever witty response Siri provides now is more accurate. You'd have better results asking your dog. 

post #37 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

Credibility? This is Wolfram Alpha's top 5 smartphone list, which Siri culled the result from:

 

Screen%20Shot%202012-05-14%20at%2011.27.20%20AM.png

 

For laughs, Google #2. 

#3 is a failed HP tablet no longer on sale (yes, in smartphone results)

 

Credible indeed. I'm sure whatever witty response Siri provides now is more accurate. You'd have better results asking your dog. 

Love it!  LOL

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post #38 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post




No, read the article - if you added ever to the question it would do the web search. They changed the back end to respond with the witty answer regardless of adding "ever" to the end or not.  It mattered before.

Not for me. When the story first broke I tried it and got the same witty replies, with the 'ever' included
post #39 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

They are not whiners.
Only some is illegal.
The topic was advertising, and not marketing.

One sentence. Three strikes.

zzzzz babbling again.......
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post #40 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

Witty, maybe.

But doesn't this diminish the credibility of Siri? 

 
Credibility? This is Wolfram Alpha's top 5 smartphone list, which Siri culled the result from:

LL

For laughs, Google #2. 
#3 is a failed HP tablet no longer on sale (yes, in smartphone results)

Credible indeed. I'm sure whatever witty response Siri provides now is more accurate. You'd have better results asking your dog. 


This clearly shows the difference between relying on AI for any reasonable answer, and relying on (some) human brains.

Most folks glancing at that list would conclude that it was unreliable. AI is programmed to retreive the list from the data store.

Unless and until AI as used by SIRI is good enough, it is not good enough. At this point, qualifiers with nebulous definitions like "best" and "ever" are WAY too much for the feeble AI we have available now.

Our current AI is very useful for lots of stuff. But queries like "best" are too fuzzy as of now.
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