So I've not used Siri
much - for all that it's the headline feature of my phone, I find the camera more useful, and I'm a bit... British, and self conscious about talking to my devices... at least when people are around.
Still there's something compelling about having a real world device that I can talk with naturally, and which understands me (albeit limitedly) It makes my inner sci-fi geek giddy! So now and then something grabs me and I try it out. The last thing I played with for any length of time was the spooky but fascinating Wolfram Alpha aeroplane trick
which - disappointingly - then refused to work when I wanted to show it to my Ex over dinner the other night (happily he has a 4S too and understood how fickle Siri can be - it is still in Beta after all...)
Today I stumbled on another thing, less spooky but more useful than asking about planes overhead. I was writing my Niece's birthday card and (since I can never remember the post code) wanted to look up my brother's address. In the privacy of my own home and with the phone right there I held down the home button and said "what's my brother's address" Siri asked me my brother's name, then asked if I wanted it to remember he is my brother, then supplied his address. Neat! I thought. OK so (in spite of the fact that the word "brother" is in my brother's address book card) there's some learning involved in that function. Fair enough.
... and (it being Sunday) off I went asking Siri for credentials from as many family members as I could think of, all went swimmingly until I reached my Aunt:
Me: "What is my Aunt's address?"
Siri: "What is your Aunt's name?"
Me: "Anne Robertshaw"
Siri: [displaying "Robertshaw"] ... thinks ... "do you want me to remember that Patrick Robertshaw is your Aunt?"
Me: [sigh] "cancel"
fair enough I thought, "Anne" can be misheard as "an", and faced with an apparent ambiguity Siri's little brain picks the primary Robertshaw from its database and (naturally) pulls up me! Fail.
So, I think, on with the experiment:
Me: "What is my Uncle's address?"
Siri: "What is your Uncle's name?"
Me: "Colin Robertshaw"
Siri: "Calling Anne Robertshaw, which number?"
Me: [incredulous sigh] "cancel"
I'm a bit baffled by this. If it can hear "Anne" in the context of placing a call, how come not in the context of assigning metadata to address book entries? Still more perplexing is its refusal to recognise Colin's name as anything other than an attempt to call his sister! (I tried several times.)
I'm not complaining. I live in the future, and while I may not have a flying car or a robot housekeeper, I do
have a quite amazing pocket computer which (mostly) understands natural spoken word commands... but the name thing has me baffled and amused. So I thought I'd share.