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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 80
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    "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.

  • Reply 2 of 80
    diddydiddy Posts: 282member

    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.

  • Reply 3 of 80
    ankleskaterankleskater Posts: 1,287member


    Witty, maybe.


     


    But doesn't this diminish the credibility of Siri? 

     

  • Reply 4 of 80
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    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.

  • Reply 5 of 80
    macbook promacbook pro Posts: 1,605member

    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.

  • Reply 6 of 80
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,048member

    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?

  • Reply 7 of 80
    macbook promacbook pro Posts: 1,605member

    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).

  • Reply 8 of 80
    campercamper Posts: 30member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 80
    ankleskaterankleskater Posts: 1,287member

    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?  image


     


    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.

  • Reply 10 of 80
    "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.

    camper wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 80
    ankleskaterankleskater Posts: 1,287member


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

  • Reply 12 of 80
    sol77sol77 Posts: 203member

    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.

  • Reply 13 of 80
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,048member

    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?

  • Reply 14 of 80
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    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
  • Reply 15 of 80
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,048member

    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?  image


     


     


    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....image

  • Reply 16 of 80
    sol77sol77 Posts: 203member

    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.

  • Reply 17 of 80
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,048member

    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.....

  • Reply 18 of 80
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    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?

    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.

    camper wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 80
    ankleskaterankleskater Posts: 1,287member

    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.

  • Reply 20 of 80
    ankleskaterankleskater Posts: 1,287member

    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 ...

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