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Showing posts from December, 2011

Siri-an Revolution

I used Siri for the first time a week or so ago, and I was exquisitely underwhelmed. It's basically a somewhat decent speech recognition system attached to a crappy version of Eliza, which was a simple question-and-answer artificial intelligence program written over 30 years ago. All of which begs the question - why do people love it so much?

Simply, Apple succeeded by humanizing Siri and then marketing the hell out of it (her?), even so far as to inspire various parodies such as the husband and wife argument. I've watched people use Siri with fascination, trying to tease out "sassy" responses, and searching for Easter eggs beyond what was reported in the press. In fact, I've seen this use case much more than actually useful things. But it's interesting anyway to compare with Google Voice Search, which has been around way longer and shares a similar feature set.

Google Voice Search is the best speech recognition system I've personally used. It's been …