HELLO SIRI, DO YOU READ ME SIRI?
04 May 2012
By Isolde Roche
I recently bit the bullet and purchased my very first iPhone (other smart phones are available!). I entered the world of Instagram and constant social media updates with gusto, however one feature gave me the chills. The Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface (that's SIRI to you and me) software was freakishly reminiscent of HAL from 2001, A Space Odyssey and the Skynet system in The Terminator. I was not convinced.
Developed using the results of research by DARPA, a section of the United States Department of Defense, SIRI is designed to act as a voice recognition system that actually recognises the way you normally speak. We decided to do a little experiment here at Tor HQ. Although SIRI is meant to recognise individuals normal voice patterns it had an issue with my lilting Irish brogue so I drafted in Mr. Fergus Edmondson, Pan Macmillan's wonderful marketing assistant to carry out the task.
See this video below of Fergus performing a cod Turing Test on SIRI. For any one who is unaware The Turing test is a measure designed by the British father of modern computing Alan Turing as a way of ascertaining if computers have become sentient. It involves asking the machine how it is, describe how it looks etc. As you can see below thankfully computers are still very much mere machines. Fancy carrying out your own test on SIRI? Video the test, put a link in the comment section below , we'll judge the best one and send you a surprise! (Usual terms and conditions apply, competition is only available to UK residents I'm afraid.)
Also check out these examples of SIRI fails from the blog S**t SIRI Says.