Memento, starring Siri

Marco Arment’s response to Boris at ReadWriteWeb’s question “Is it time to say goodbye to Siri?” prompts me to add more to my chronicle of chronic Siri struggle.

First, Siri’s response when I tried to use my wife’s phone to call my own. Yes, I tapped the phone number Siri offered and labeled “mobile” and she gave me a map of Mobile, Alabama. Obviously a bug of some sort, but how is that anything but seriously broken and embarrassing? Isn’t this exactly the sort of task Siri was built for?


Then another short-term memory failure. In moments like this, Siri bears a striking similarity to Leonard from Memento.


These aren’t reliability issues and these aren’t managing expectations issues. These are basic issues that a marquee feature of a marquee product of a marquee company.

2 thoughts on “Memento, starring Siri”

  1. As someone who has switched from Android to iOS, I would be interested in your take on Boris’ claim, “it’s probably the best voice recognition on any mobile platform.”

    The performance I get out of Android’s voice recognition is always impressive. It doesn’t let me tell it to write a text or read my calendar, but when I use it in place of the keyboard, it manages to correctly transcribe what I say most of the time, even fairly complex sentences.

  2. I never got into the habit of using the voice-to-text services on my Android phone or iPhone, so it’s hard for me to say which is better. Both were generally reliable. Shouldn’t Siri be better than my experience with Android because its two two years newer? Probably, but besides doing things like transcribing “juice” as “Jews” and a few completely random guesses she’s made, she is more advanced in that she’s better at parsing natural language. (I never could remember what the difference between commanding Android to “call” and to “dial” was.) That’s no small thing, but clearly Siri screws up a lot.

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