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Server-side update makes Siri a stickler for succinctness

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
Siri is already well known for her wit and willingness to joke, but a recent server-side update has given Apple's digital assistant the ability to tell users they should be more into the whole brevity thing.

your opinion man


Siri can now respond to user requests with quotes, thanks to an apparently recent update, and users that are overly wordy will get a response that tactfully tells them so. The brevity commentary was first noted by a visitor to the social news site Reddit, and the quote responses first showed up on iLounge.

Faced with a long or rambling question, Siri will present the user with a choice quote from William Strunk, Thomas Jefferson, or MASH's Hawkeye. The Jefferson and Hawkeye quotes go by quickly enough, but Siri's Strunk-derived riposte is 30 words long and can take as long for her to read aloud as the request Siri's correcting.

The responses encouraging brevity are just the latest in a number of Siri updates aimed at giving the virtual assistant a "personality." The team behind Siri meant for the feature to "forge an emotional tie" with customers. To that end, they gave Siri a catalogue of witty responses to deliver, as well as a supply of jokes. When some of Siri's more awkward answers have attained notoriety on the Internet, the team has updated the assistant to give punchier responses.
post #2 of 68

This is very irritating to me because she does this when I am trying to send messages to people.  The messages are sometimes long, but I need to say what I am saying.  I use Siri a lot while I am driving and this new little quirk pisses me off.

post #3 of 68

Awesome!

 

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post #4 of 68
Oh.
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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post #5 of 68
This isn't funny to me when it's supposed to be an other-wise useful tool. Jokes are one thing but I actually use it for its purpose and that's not for Siri to be a wise ass.
post #6 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post

This isn't funny to me when it's supposed to be an other-wise useful tool. Jokes are one thing but I actually use it for its purpose and that's not for Siri to be a wise ass.

Functionality hasn't been removed.

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

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

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post #7 of 68

Ten out of ten for the M*A*S*H reference, Siri, but minus several million for not just doing your job when we want it done.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #8 of 68

Siri, by Twitter.  :(

post #9 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by ndirishfan1975 View Post

This is very irritating to me because she does this when I am trying to send messages to people.  The messages are sometimes long, but I need to say what I am saying.  I use Siri a lot while I am driving and this new little quirk pisses me off.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post

This isn't funny to me when it's supposed to be an other-wise useful tool. Jokes are one thing but I actually use it for its purpose and that's not for Siri to be a wise ass.

 

Before you two freak out about this ... have you actually tried it?  Don't you have to start with "Siri send a message"?  

 

And isn't it likely that when used in that particular circumstance it doesn't actually interrupt you with this stuff?  

post #10 of 68
!
post #11 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


Before you two freak out about this ... have you actually tried it?  Don't you have to start with "Siri send a message"?  


i'm not freaking out about it, but i have tried it. when sending a text message that is too long, siri just stops (double-beep) and displays (without saying) "Sorry, I didn't get that." no warning or anything, so you lose whatever you just said and have to repeat yourself.
"Personally, I would like nothing more than to thoroughly proof each and every word of my articles before posting. But I can't."

appleinsider's mike campbell, august 15, 2013
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"Personally, I would like nothing more than to thoroughly proof each and every word of my articles before posting. But I can't."

appleinsider's mike campbell, august 15, 2013
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post #12 of 68
This new "feature" is pretty rude and intrusive because I run into all the time now. Even if I simply say "Send a message to X," then wait for Siri to prompt me for the message's text, it still happens. And my messages aren't always that long either--about 80 characters (barely more han half a tweet) can do it. It's really intrusive to how I use Siri and doesn't seem to have a good hands free work around. Siri can be funny, but this one usually just pisses me off because Siri ends up acting like she just had an stroke.
post #13 of 68

Major problem with Siri from my perspective:  One must have a well-constructed sentence before one speaks to Siri, which simply isn't the way many of us converse. I tend to think faster than I can speak and the inevitable sentence that tumbles out is a software speech recognition nightmare. : /

 

Can't Apple just acquire IBM to get their mitts on Watson and be done with it?

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GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #14 of 68
post #15 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post

i'm not freaking out about it, but i have tried it. when sending a text message that is too long, siri just stops (double-beep) and displays (without saying) "Sorry, I didn't get that." no warning or anything, so you lose whatever you just said and have to repeat yourself.

 

The evidence you provide here sounds like a different problem, unrelated to this article...

post #16 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I tend to think faster than I can speak and the inevitable sentence that tumbles out is a software speech recognition nightmare.
I guess you type faster than you think, since it is preferred that one thinks before they speak. I certainly hope your brain operates faster than your mouth. No offense.
post #17 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Major problem with Siri from my perspective:  One must have a well-constructed sentence before one speaks to Siri, which simply isn't the way many of us converse. I tend to think faster than I can speak and the inevitable sentence that tumbles out is a software speech recognition nightmare. : /

 

Can't Apple just acquire IBM to get their mitts on Watson and be done with it?

 

I think you're half right, but the other side is that we just think we need complete sentences to converse with a machine.  Siri is intended to use spoken language and really can parse broken sentences fairly well.  You can often drop articles within your commands and get the job done (like "text Bob meet you in five minutes" instead of "send a text to Bob saying meet you in five minutes").  Rather, I find Siri has a hard time recognizing my contractions like "we'll" or "can't".

 

I think the reality is somewhere between complete and incomplete sentences, and, although I haven't seen this new change in action yet, I think it will help people realize that they don't need to always speak in grammatically correct or complete sentences for Siri.

 

But I dunno... I don't use her too much.

post #18 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Ten out of ten for the M*A*S*H reference, Siri, but minus several million for not just doing your job when we want it done.

I see you still have Hitchhikers Guide on the mind. 1wink.gif
post #19 of 68
Originally Posted by blurpbleepbloop View Post
I guess you type faster than you think, since it is preferred that one thinks before they speak. I certainly hope your brain operates faster than your mouth. No offense.

 

This tries to be an insult, but it clips the tower and spirals into the ground.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #20 of 68

Siri's understanding is not that good especially if you are using proper nouns that she doesn't know. Honestly, Google does a much better job in my opinion. For example with Siri, I asked her to find the Taca Airlines website. Instead of doing what I ask, she takes it upon herself to correct the query by switching it to taco airlines instead of first trying to find something that is phonetically more similar to what I actually said and try a few different spellings if there is a duplicate phoneme such as substituting a "K" for the "C" sound or visa versa. She appears to be using the same crappy word editing algorithm used in the spelling correction feature. Equally bad recognition of Copa Airlines. Both airlines fly out of LAX so you would think that since I'm near LAX she would look at a list of airlines near such a major international airport, but no. Completely useless no matter how clearly you enunciate.

 

On the other hand, Google finds both airlines in less than a second, and even though it spelled 'Taca' as 'Taka'. It still found the right web site and put it at the top of the list. No fuss, no muss, and no wise cracks.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #21 of 68

How about:

  • Making Siri faster: #1 request for the vast majority of users
  • Making it do more useful thing (can't even cancel the navigation I'm in)
  • Third party app support
  • Accuracy improvement: we are two years into the service and it's still in beta. If Dragon is dragging their feet, it's time to move on with another partner.
post #22 of 68
Originally Posted by zoffdino View Post
  • we are two years into the service and it's still in beta.

 

So?

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #23 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


Before you two freak out about this ... have you actually tried it?  Don't you have to start with "Siri send a message"?  

And isn't it likely that when used in that particular circumstance it doesn't actually interrupt you with this stuff?  
Yes I've tried it and yes she does it on messages. First time was when I was sending a message to my sisters about my dad having cancer surgery so it was aggravating to say the least. I tried it the way I always do. Also tried to add the send message to (blank) SAY... Like I used to have to do in iOS 5. Also tried to do send message to... And wait for Siri to ask what I wanted to say... Got a smart assed reply from her each time. It's also happened a few other times recently.
post #24 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoffdino View Post

  • Accuracy improvement: we are two years into the service and it's still in beta. If Dragon is dragging their feet, it's time to move on with another partner.

1) So (x2)? Does the label make it better or worse simply by having that label on it?

2) Why do you think the problem is Dragon and not the inherent issues with a virtual digital assistant.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

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

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

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

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post #25 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Major problem with Siri from my perspective:  One must have a well-constructed sentence before one speaks to Siri, which simply isn't the way many of us converse. I tend to think faster than I can speak and the inevitable sentence that tumbles out is a software speech recognition nightmare. : /

 

Can't Apple just acquire IBM to get their mitts on Watson and be done with it?

Once upon a time, it was much, much worse. It will continue to get better.

 

Is Siri still beta?

EDIT: Just saw answer.

post #26 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Originally Posted by zoffdino View Post
  • we are two years into the service and it's still in beta.

 

So?

Google has plenty of products that have been in beta much much longer than that. And don't work as well as Siri does.

post #27 of 68
I wonder if everyone is taking this the wrong way. It almost seems to me it may have more to do with them trying to limit the data they transfer. All queries go to the servers...
post #28 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post

i'm not freaking out about it, but i have tried it. when sending a text message that is too long, siri just stops (double-beep) and displays (without saying) "Sorry, I didn't get that." no warning or anything, so you lose whatever you just said and have to repeat yourself.

 

I beg your pardon? I didn't get that. Can you repeat yourself?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #29 of 68

This is aggravating. I sent a fairly short text to my wife today - asking if she wanted Coffee and gave her two choices. Siri said it was too long. It wasn't even half a text message max. 

 

This essentially ruins Siri for me. 

 

The Google app can do on-device speech recognition. Siri needs to do that in iOS 7. I don't care if its in beta, but what I do care is that Siri is useful. Before today, it was useful. Now half my Siri "conversations" don't work. 

post #30 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Siri's understanding is not that good especially if you are using proper nouns that she doesn't know. Honestly, Google does a much better job in my opinion. For example with Siri, I asked her to find the Taca Airlines website. Instead of doing what I ask, she takes it upon herself to correct the query by switching it to taco airlines instead of first trying to find something that is phonetically more similar to what I actually said and try a few different spellings if there is a duplicate phoneme such as substituting a "K" for the "C" sound or visa versa. She appears to be using the same crappy word editing algorithm used in the spelling correction feature. Equally bad recognition of Copa Airlines. Both airlines fly out of LAX so you would think that since I'm near LAX she would look at a list of airlines near such a major international airport, but no. Completely useless no matter how clearly you enunciate.

 

On the other hand, Google finds both airlines in less than a second, and even though it spelled 'Taca' as 'Taka'. It still found the right web site and put it at the top of the list. No fuss, no muss, and no wise cracks.

 

Clues to this might be found in the way Google's normal text input search works. It has autocorrect capabilities that not only guesses the word, but uses any additional keywords that follow as context. So if you typed Taka Airlines, it would figure out you probably meant Taca Airlines. The algorithm is quite good. Their voice search taps into this capability. Also, Google Maps uses it when searching for POI.

 

I think Siri tries to match the sound to a word without the benefit of any contextual cues (such as the following word "airline"). It usually works pretty good. But there is clearly room for improvement.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #31 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akac View Post

This is aggravating. I sent a fairly short text to my wife today - asking if she wanted Coffee and gave her two choices. Siri said it was too long. It wasn't even half a text message max. 

This essentially ruins Siri for me. 

The Google app can do on-device speech recognition. Siri needs to do that in iOS 7. I don't care if its in beta, but what I do care is that Siri is useful. Before today, it was useful. Now half my Siri "conversations" don't work. 

Are you saying that this simple change to cue people in on how to talk to a digital system that needs to parse your query is the reason your "simple" dictation didn't work today?

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

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

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

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

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post #32 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Major problem with Siri from my perspective:  One must have a well-constructed sentence before one speaks to Siri, which simply isn't the way many of us converse. I tend to think faster than I can speak and the inevitable sentence that tumbles out is a software speech recognition nightmare. : /

 

Can't Apple just acquire IBM to get their mitts on Watson and be done with it?

 

In other words, you want HAL-9000.

Watson could never win enough money playing Jeopardy! to justify it's own operating and development expense. So, no.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #33 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

 

In other words, you want HAL-9000.

 

 

Anybody who knows what HAL-9000 is and still wants one deserves everything they get with it!

post #34 of 68

Siri is supposed to be a personal assistant. In a real (human) personal assistant you would want professionalism, not sass. (Well, some people might want sass but not most.)

post #35 of 68
Siri just sucks, let's be honest.
I've tried to use it many times. It's not usable to me.

I might be asking for too much, or the non-US version is subpar compared to the US version, I have no clue. What I know is I just don't use it whatsoever, it fucks up 90% of times.

Worst is the fact my colleague's "Google Now" (I think?) thingie on his phone works almost perfect. Why!?

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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post #36 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightknight View Post

Worst is the fact my colleague's "Google Now" (I think?) thingie on his phone works almost perfect. Why!?

I think maybe... Google somehow leverages their giant search index to understand your sentences better. Without that database, life must be much harder for the Siri programmers.

post #37 of 68
She is also being a smart ass about setting alarms. I asked her to set an alarm for 4:30 am yesterday which she completed, but then told me not to wake her up at the same time.
post #38 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by BestKeptSecret View Post

Anybody who knows what HAL-9000 is and still wants one deserves everything they get with it!

But haven't you heard that it wasn't HAL's fault?

That he was programmed to tell the truth and then instructed to keep the reason for the mission a secret from the crew?

It was his devious American handlers at mission control that caused him to ge insane. The movie and the book contain many clues to help you figure this out, like when Floyd flat-out lies to the Russians.

Hal was trying to do his job too well, but his humans let him down. This is the reason that Kubrick made the humans so flat and dehumanized.

Don't feel bad, though, the critics like Pauline Kael didn't get it either.
Edited by Flaneur - 5/15/13 at 7:03am
post #39 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Are you saying that this simple change to cue people in on how to talk to a digital system that needs to parse your query is the reason your "simple" dictation didn't work today?

Why not? I constantly use Siri to text while driving. That day it failed. It's failed before due to too much noise, garbled talk. But this time - for the first time since I used it the day Siri came out (yes I buy IPhones the day they come out) it failed because of an artificial limitation that did not exist before.

I'm an admitted Apple fan boy. I've bought over 50k of Apple equipment in the past few years. I've worked at Apple. I am going to WWDC. But that doesn't mean I don't point out mistakes or failures; and as this change has converted Siri from a distraction free way of texting to a very distracting "lets think how to make Siri accept my text" - its a negative in my life.
post #40 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akac View Post

Why not? I constantly use Siri to text while driving. That day it failed. It's failed before due to too much noise, garbled talk. But this time - for the first time since I used it the day Siri came out (yes I buy IPhones the day they come out) it failed because of an artificial limitation that did not exist before.

I'm an admitted Apple fan boy. I've bought over 50k of Apple equipment in the past few years. I've worked at Apple. I am going to WWDC. But that doesn't mean I don't point out mistakes or failures; and as this change has converted Siri from a distraction free way of texting to a very distracting "lets think how to make Siri accept my text" - its a negative in my life.

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

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

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

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

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