Seriously Siri?

| Fran Silverman

When I watched Samuel L. Jackson talk to Siri in his flirtatious way in the iPhone television commercial and how efficient she  (it?) was in helping him arrange a romantic evening  I thought that I had just found the perfect administrative assistant.

I had to have her and I was thrilled when I was able to upgrade my LG Cosmos keyboard phone to an iPhone 4S.

In the commercial, Jackson asks Siri to cancel an appointment, which she does. He asks her to find an organic mushroom store for his risotto.

“This organic market looks pretty close to you,’’ she purrs.

He tells her to remind him in an hour to put the gazpacho on ice.

“Here is your reminder,’’ she says. “Shall I create it?”

“Yeah,’’ he says, in that very cool Samuel L. Jackson way. “Unless you want Hotzpacho.”

Haha. Funny. I laughed.

Sam, very pleased he has gotten all his ducks in order for his romantic dinner, tells Siri to take the night off.

“If you say so,’’she says.

Yet, when I say so, Siri isn’t as efficient.

I asked her to call Degen. Twice she said she couldn’t find Geagan.

Huh? Who is Geagan?

A co-worker suggested I enter Degen’s name in my contact list in phonetic spelling and to tell Siri that Degen was my daughter. That way, if she was still getting stuck on the difficult name, I could just say “call my daughter.”

So I summoned Siri again. “Degen is my daughter,” I told her.

“Do you want me to remember that Degen is your daughter? ‘’ she asked.

I said yes.

She said she couldn’t do that.

So I tried again.

This time when she asked if I wanted her to remember that, I pushed the button yes on my phone.

Again she said she couldn’t do that.

Why, Siri? Why?

“I don’t’ know, I’ve been wondering that myself,’’ she answered.

No wonder Siri is facing a lawsuit filed in March 2012  by a New York man who contends that Apple  “[t]hrough an extensive and comprehensive nationwide marketing campaign, … has conveyed the misleading and deceptive message that the iPhone 4S’s Siri feature performs useful functions and otherwise works as advertised.”

Critics say Siri works a bit better in the iPhone 5 and Apple points out that she’s still in beta. But nowhere in the commercial does it say Siri is in beta.  Beta, whatever.

Just get better, Siri, get better.

Fran Silverman

Fran Silverman, former editor of, believes in the watchdog role of journalists who can empower and inform consumers through news and education.

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