March 26, 2013

Sometimes Siri gets drunk

Siri, Apple's virtual assistant, is usually reliable. But every now and then, it seems like she's dead drunk.

First, understand that Siri and dictation both use the same engine. If Siri understands your words, so does Mac's dictation function. I often speak to my iPad in the evening. I'll dictate an idea for a post, or a note for a novel. It's quite helpful.

The way dictation and Siri work is that when you speak you speak to your iPad (or computer), it records what you say and sends the recording to Apple, whose servers decipher its meaning and return text to you. As I say, it's usually quite good.

But when the circuits are busy -- like on a Friday night or, really, anytime after school lets out -- Siri screws up. Last night I tried to input a title for a post. I dictated "These people are onto something" and Siri returned "Are Pontoosuc". See what I mean? Drunk. I think it's wild how wrong it gets it. I mean, are pontoosuc? Well, I guess it got the "onto" part right.

Anyway, if this ever happens to you, just wait a moment and try again. If it still doesn't work, wait ten minutes. That should take care of it.

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