Apple patches Siri to keep her quiet

Apple patches Siri to keep her quietLet's be honest: it was never going to last, was it? Much to the disappointment of Nokia fans, Windows Phone users, probably most Android users... OK, pretty much everyone who doesn't use iOS, Siri is no longer telling anyone who asks that the Nokia Lumia 900 is the best smartphone ever.

In a cruel twist of circumstances, the Lumia 900's current pre-eminence thanks to its subsidised launch in the US has hit the right buttons for analytical search engine Wolfram Alpha, which Siri uses to answer all those inane and largely pointless questions she gets hit with all day long.

And according to Wolfram Alpha, based on average review score, the Lumia 900 is the best phone around.

It's all in good fun, of course, but the whole thing does illustrate nicely one of the biggest issues with Siri and similar voice assistants: getting them to distinguish between serious questions with quantifiable answers, and mock queries designed purely to produce ridiculous results.

Still, Apple has clearly had enough of the publicity, and has updated Siri to answer the question far more appropriately, alternating between a variety of aw-shucks answers such as “the one you're holding” or one that sums up Apple quite nicely: “wait... there are other phones?”

Read more about: iOSApple iPad 3Apple iPhone 4

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11 comments

Bob123123123  May. 15, 2012 at 22:42

Apple does not want you to hear this.

So you shall not hear this.

bilbob  May. 15, 2012 at 23:02

The problem with this is that for apple, if they'd kept shtum, it would have blown over by now, and been a fun little story.
However they have now shown themselves to be, well, let's be generous, and say, 'capable of tinkering with search results'....

If I ask bing which is the most popular search engine, I expect it to answer with google regardless, and if it didn't I'd want to know why, and indeed, It does...

I know the nokia thing was in fun, but still, apple shouldn't be tinkering...

socialjeebus  May. 16, 2012 at 03:46

I agree, at the end of the day I couldn't imagine anybody who has an iPhone 4S rushing out and buying a Nokia Lumia 900...by changing it, not only are they guilty of preaching to the converted buy also they not only makes themselves look a little petty but actually similar to what Bilbob says I think neutrals will actually be turned off, not just by the censor-like "modified" results but it kind of reinforces the "Apple users are sheep opinions" too.

JanSt / MOD  May. 16, 2012 at 06:59

All 3 true, I guess...

But in all this (not just on Mobot) I have yet to read that Google's search results are NOT objective 'truth' either... Which is really a bit more of a concern than whether the Lumia 900
is a great phone or better.
I also have to laugh about Android fanboys who find this affair funny, because hey - it also means the Lumia 900 is better than the SGS2 or whatever your fav is... :p

But really? SZZzzznore

B1zarr0Prim3  May. 16, 2012 at 08:37

I asked my ZX81 what the best computer was and it told me that it was.

JanSt / MOD  May. 16, 2012 at 08:53

I asked my ZX81 what the best computer was and it told me that it was.

hahaha

mcderment  May. 16, 2012 at 12:42

I'd heard that if you ask it on the iPhone5 it will tell you not to be a Juan Carr and then in a voice of Russell Brand say 'Dont ask such stupidly bleedin obvious questions'

Treab  May. 16, 2012 at 15:52

I asked siri if it was ever going to work in the uk and it said...

Sorry i dont know where the uk is... is it in Tennessee?

bigmo7  May. 16, 2012 at 19:54

I have yet to see any of my friends with a 4S use Siri properly. Their excuse is that it doesn't work that well...I mean we don't have that weird an accent. oO

JanSt / MOD  May. 16, 2012 at 20:58

I have yet to see any of my friends with a 4S use Siri properly. Their excuse is that it doesn't work that well...I mean we don't have that weird an accent. oO
Yes, amazing how a poorly working beta app can serve a big incentive...

Bryan23  May. 19, 2012 at 08:22

I asked my ZX81 what the best computer was and it told me that it was.

They changed it! It used to say the Osborne is the best.

This is great publicity for Wolfram Alpha though - I had never heard of them before this ... er ... "bug".

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