Server-side update makes Siri a stickler for succinctness

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 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.

  • Reply 2 of 68
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member


    Awesome!


     


    --The Dude

  • Reply 3 of 68
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,457member
    Oh.
  • Reply 4 of 68
    ajbdtc826ajbdtc826 Posts: 190member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 68
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    ajbdtc826 wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 68
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    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.

  • Reply 7 of 68


    Siri, by Twitter.  :(

  • Reply 8 of 68
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    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?  

  • Reply 9 of 68
    cityguidecityguide Posts: 129member
    !
  • Reply 10 of 68
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    gazoobee wrote: »

    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.
  • Reply 11 of 68
    lucasjwlucasjw Posts: 2member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 68
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,504member


    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?

  • Reply 13 of 68
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
  • Reply 14 of 68
    brutus009brutus009 Posts: 356member

    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...

  • Reply 15 of 68
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 68
    brutus009brutus009 Posts: 356member

    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.

  • Reply 17 of 68
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    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. ;)
  • Reply 18 of 68
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    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.

  • Reply 19 of 68
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member


    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.

  • Reply 20 of 68
    zoffdinozoffdino Posts: 192member


    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.

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