Que Sera Siri

Siri, why you gotta play us like that?

Siri, why am I so late getting to this story which was basically played out a week ago?

Mostly because it's gotten teh right and proper smackdowning it warrants. Even if it is totes unintentional, that is still some creepy-ass misogynistic bullshit*, and it's good that it got highlighted as much as it did.

Anywho, I'm going back to it for another reason. To point and laugh at all teh smug Apple fanbois with their shiny new toys. LOL. Srsly, this Siri thing has taken the wind out of a bunch of idiots and jackasses - and I applaud that. Not to say all Apple dorks are shitbags but - I was going to say something about collateral damage or something. You know what? It's not damage. If an otherwise decent person now no longer believes in his inherent superiority because of his consumer electronics choices, that's a good thing. Without a doubt, the hit to their fanboi-ism is not a minus. Speaking of, it's always teh betrayed that have teh most passionate responses and it's voyeuristically titillating to see teh damage.

Yeppers. Teh thing I'm glad about is that no one from teh Apple Army of Assholes even tried to claim that this was intentional on Apple's part - a component of their plan to raise awareness and prompt discussion about teh raw deal that women get with respect to sexual health, and heck - health care in general.

*Teh screenshots say it all.


TruculentandUnreliable said...

What annoys me most about the whole iCult is people who don't know shit about technology suddenly get all excited because Apple has suddenly slapped their name on something that's been around for, like, EVER. I heard someone the other day talking about ZOMG Apple has this thing called cloud computing!

Siri's also not all that impressive (as the Gizmodo article points out). Androids have had voice command capacity for years, and while it's nice that Siri can interpret natural language to some extent, I don't really see it as a step beyond what was already on the market. In fact (as demonstrated in the abortion issue), Siri can be more limiting than just a normal-ass Google search. And yeah, you can always go straight to Google if it doesn work, but then what the fuck's the point?

I will say that as the semantic web moves forward, it'll get better. Siri might have a role in pushing it forward like the iPhone/Pad did for HTML5. Which makes me excited, even though I'll fucking roll my eyes at the people who think that Apple invented it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and yeah, Siri can only "know" what the programmers tell her to know, and if the vast majority of programmers are, oh, I dunno, white, straight males, then problems like this are always going to result. Maybe less often as the technology gets better, but I think a culture chnge would be more important in this case than a change in technology. (Unless it involves Siri becoming sentient).

TruculentandUnreliable said...

That was me,obv. FYAndroid.

I'll shut up now.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Lake Siri, on the other hand, is kinda cool.

(Especially now that it's freezing around here.)

Dragon-King Wangchuck said...

You know, in defense of Apple fanbois, I do have to say that I appreciate where the disappointment comes from. Apple does do some pretty cool shit. Yeah, none of it is particularly original - but Apple isn't known for innovation or invention, it's known for design and polish. That's what chaps teh fanbois teh most, Siri's just an all around piece of crap.

Her voice recognition is basically out of teh box third party stuff, her plain english parsing abilities show zero improvement over what's currently available and her search abilities or beyond crappy.

I remember having an mp3 player before my first Shuffle. It was cheaper and yet had greater storage capacity. I don't know what happened to it, but I still use that Shuffle.

It's Apple. People were expecting Siri to bring that sense of professionalism, of quality. That teh fanbois could fall back on their perpetual defense that teh Apple product just plain works. Well Siri doesn't. Not. Even. Close.

Also too, nice to hear from you T&U.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I confess that I am an early adopter of many Apple techs. Am I a fanboi? Dunno. If you want to think so, that's up to you.

I am, however a user of computer tech from way back, without being a coder. Yes, I have used FORTRAN, punch cards, basic, even 10 digit machine language. No, I don't want to do that anymore. I want to use computers to do cool stuff.

Macs have helped me do that.

No, Apple didn't invent the GUI or mouse oriented computing. They did, however, make them usable and not a novelty relegated to the crappy offices of an IBM complex. You could argue that the only thing Apple's founders ever invented was the Blue Box.

MP3 players existed before the iPod; hell, I had three of them. Apple made them usable. But beyond that, Apple was the only entity available that could have made the major music labels accede to online distribution; the inbred morons running labels at that point had abandoned any potential to distribute music digitally, preferring to sue anybody who tried, rather than soak fans for another media transition.

I won't go on. I don't feel a need to proselytize; computers are there to help you do something. Show me what you do. Macs help me do what I do. I will show you what I have done.

Yeah, I've used Windows in all kinds of iterations. I have W7 as well as Ubuntu on my Macbook. Neither of them rise to the level of useful, for me. I use them when necessary; they are tools, and some tools work better, for me, than others.

I am amused, sometimes, by people who like to jump on anti-Apple news for whatever reasons; because in some cases, I have experienced that their abilities in non-Apple environments do not rise to the level I would define as competent. He, use the tools you want, just don't deliver shit and tell me that the deficiency is because I haven't sent enough money to Redmond.

Siri is a third party product that Apple purchased to incorporate into the iPhone. That's a Microsoft move, actually. I've used it; it's OK. the blind spots being exposed are what happens when a niche product is moved into mass-market applications quickly. I haven't seen ANY evidence that it is an ideological issue, other than the white-guy privilege issues T&U talks about, which are well worth discussing.

Siri works...OK. It's not great, but you argue at one point that Siri is only the same tech that existed elsewhere. Amusingly, when I got my first iPhone, one of my tkd instructors said to me "this phone does everything that one does" to which I replied "awesome. I am glad you like your phone" and two years later, he bought an iPhone. Yeah, it's all tech that existed, but it takes some effort to put it all together in an effective way that makes the things I try to do easier, not harder.

Do you want this soapbox back?