Recently I got an new phone to replace my old blackberry. Being the tech-geek that I am, it was easy for me to decide which phone I would buy next and, of course, I chose the iPhone 4s. As many of you know the iPhone is the number one cell phone in the world right now and the newest iPhone, 4s, comes complete with many new features including the iCloud and, most notably Siri, a personal assistant. I know that Jonah Butler has also written about the iPhone 4s and Siri earlier on in the semester but I would like to focus specifically on the functionality of Siri rather than the idea behind her.
Siri is so interesting because she is what many gadget reviews are calling “the first personal assistant that can actually understand what you mean rather than just hear what you say.” I must admit that this new functionality is groundbreaking.I personally have used Siri several times and it is easy to feel like she actually does understand what you are saying. Much like Jonah, I began to think back to Eliza and how many users actually felt like Eliza could understand and sympathize with them.
While it is clear that Siri is only a program, it can be very tricky to say that she does not have any sort of attachment to what is being said to her. I know that she understands the relationship that I share among different people in my contacts list. For instance, I told her that Paul and Lisa were my parents and she understands, now, that when I ask her to tell my parents I love them, she knows to send a text message to Paul and Lisa with my message. On the other hand, one can also tell that she is not capable of actual human-like thought. For example, when I tell her to tell my parents that I love them, her message says exactly what I said sending a message like “I love them.” and not “I love you.”In the grand scheme of things it is a minor problem and it is easy to see why Siri is causing such a big deal.
Siri has many other companies on the search to create other personal assistant like her, such as Iris, which is specific to the Droid phones. Though Iris is capable of performing many different tasks she is nothing close to the functionality that Siri possesses and I personally feel like it will be some time before other companies can create a program that is equal if not better than Siri. It is true that Siri is certainly helping Apple stay on top of the competition and she continues to help. In her first few months, she helped rake in a 98% increase in iPhone sales, equalling about 11.3 million dollars. After collecting a bit more research about Apple’s product sales, I can confidently say that Siri is a huge asset to not only to the Apple company but to iPhone 4s owners as well.
I have included the video below for more information about the iPhone 4s and Siri.