Adventures with Siri

I’ve been a fan of Siri since her introduction, but she has not been without her quirks. Until this fall, she would sometimes respond quickly, sometimes take her time, sometimes have remarkable accuracy, and sometimes fail completely. In the past few months, however, I’ve noticed a marked improvement in both accuracy and response times, to the point where I’ve not hesitated to employ her for routine jobs.

During a recent family trip, we were searching for decent cupcakes and settled on a bakery we had never been to before. As my wife struggled to guide me with directions, I decided to call upon an old friend. Despite the fact that we were in the car, and Siri would use the somewhat suboptimal Bluetooth microphone setup the car dealer had installed, I thought I’d give it a go.

“Navigate to Sugar Bakery.”

Siri was on it. This was a real test of maligned services – both Siri and Apple Maps at the same time! Surely we’d end up somewhere exotic. Perhaps the Ngorongoro crater? No, the pair did an impressive job, sending is right to the destination.

Upon exiting the bakery, we realized we had more than enough cupcakes to go around, and decided to share the wealth with my parents, who live relatively close by.

“Navigate to my parent’s house.”

Not a problem for Siri. So far, I was quite impressed. As we were driving, my son announced that he wanted to listen to some music, so I asked Siri to help us out.

“Play the album Strangeland.”

Within seconds, it was playing. Miraculous. Who needs flying cars when you have this kind of power.

It occurred to me that we hadn’t actually told my parents we would be coming. Since my parents were raised in a country once occupied by the British, certain customs carried over from the UK, including the habit of having afternoon tea. It was this occasion for which the cupcakes were destined.

Me: “Text my mother: we are coming for tea.”

Siri: “Here’s your message: ‘We are coming freaky.'”

That won’t do, let’s try this again.

Me: “Text my mother: we are coming for tea.”

Siri: “Here’s your message: ‘We are coming 4G.'”

This doesn’t even make sense. I’m beginning to get embarrassed.

Me: “Text my mother: we are coming for tea.”

Siri: “Here’s your message: ‘We are coming for me.'”

As of this writing, Apple stock is down 10% in after hours trading.

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