Tuesday, 18 October 2011

You Can't Be Siri-ous

Article first published as You Can't Be Siri-ous on Technorati.

siri1Firstly let me Apple-ogise for the pun. Sorry I did it again!

For those of us that live in caves Siri is the exciting new Personal Assistant built into the Apple iPhone 4S. You can find out a little bit about her HERE, go and have a read. I can wait...

Exciting stuff eh? Well it will be... if it works. I may be decried here as a doubting Thomas but I have a long and varied history with voice recognition software extending all the way back to IBMS Via Voice, Dragons Simply Speaking and Microsofts own Windows 7 speech recognition. I have flirted with voice recognition for Android and even (bad admittedly) standalone tech. It has taught me one thing. Whatever the developer says it does not work.

Most of my voice adventures start with me calmly speaking, then correcting, correcting again, becoming annoyed then getting gibberish due to my annoyed shouting. They end with me switching voice off and typing. I am not even strongly accented. I will be extremely impressed if Siri can understand a Glaswegian accent, a Polish accent or perhaps a strong Brummie.

The other huge barrier to voice recognition is the sheer embarrassment of talking to a machine. I felt insane doing it to my PC in the privacy of my own home, are people really going to comfortably chat to their phone in public? Is personal space that eroded today? I feel self conscious having a conversation with another human on the phone!

I want to be proven wrong, I would love Siri to be providing the leap in intuitive voice recognition that I have craved since I first bought my 486 all those years ago. However if my desktop PC with all the power inherent within that cannot understand me in a quiet room what hope does a phone have on a busy street?

I want to be impressed. I don't think I will be.

Read more: http://technorati.com/technology/gadgets/article/you-cant-be-siri-ous/#ixzz1b8D9B9Ws

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