Overheard on CNN.com: Siri is fun, but is she really new?
In response to the command, "Download 'Angry Birds,' " Siri says, "I can't download things for you. I'm sorry. I feel terrible about this."
October 20th, 2011
05:53 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Siri is fun, but is she really new?

Comments of the Day:

"There is nothing impressive about an app that just spits back pre-programmed responses to certain key words."–RichieP

"Right, and there's nothing impressive about you either RichieP. You're just a bunch of cells clumped together. But that's how over-simplification works."–jaypef

Snide, sassy Siri has plenty to say

Siri, the new voice-activated "personal assistant" on the iPhone 4S has users laughing at "her" witty comebacks. The app can be used to schedule appointments, send and receive messages and other routine tasks. CNN.com readers traded stories about her replies and argued over whether the new app is really new.

AeroChandan said, "I am starting to love Siri, my new personal assistant. So I asked her, 'Do you love me?.' 'I respect you,' she said. Then I insisted, 'But I love you,' and she replied, 'Do you say that to all smart phones?' "

EASExcalibur said, "Too bad that Majel Barrett Roddenberry has passed on. I'd pony up for a new iPhone just for it to talk like the Enterprise computer."

STW68 said, "When I asked Siri what she was wearing, she said, 'Aluminosilicate glass and stainless steel.' Nice, huh? Love you Siri!"

4L3X said, "Elvis Duran asked Siri 'Where can I hide a body" and Siri responded, 'There are reservoirs, swamps, and dumps near you. Which do you prefer?' "

Bubba01 said, "She told me I needed a shave and that I eat too much fried chicken, and the town where I live isn't on the map. Then she hung up. I think she's cheating on me with an Android."

edmounts said, "Best smartphone ever! And mind you: it's still in Beta. Just imagine how Siri will be after they get her to Alpha!"

jaypef said, "Siri is freaking awesome. Most small-minded people here will not see the big deal here, because they can't see the infinite future applications. Try using it for just one day before critiquing so harshly, and you'll become a fan."

jayscnn said, "The perfect phone for people without friends or those with a psychosis."

Many CNN.com readers compared the technology used in Siri to earlier developments like Cleverbot, Eliza, Google Voice, and, as kissyface said, "an a eightball filled with fluid."

falconbleau replied, "Oh, another comedian! Let's just ignore that this software started life as a multi-million dollar project for the U.S. military and has uses that can go well beyond the practical uses for which Apple has tasked it."

jammer1 said, "The tech has been available for quite some time. shindo said, "Yes, but nowhere near as good as Siri. This is the future."

Hambingo said, "I used to ask these same questions to those AOL and MSN chat bots back in the day and it would give the same replies as Siri. How is this innovative or clever? The only difference is that it reads it out in a crappy female robotic voice."

hesaidwhat2 replied, "And your chat bot gave you lists of local bars and mental health providers when it was relevant? Or gave you the option of calling a cab when you said you were drunk?"

ModXell said, "Siri is an 'immachination' of ELIZA. All hail ELIZA." CAlbertson said, "No. Do you know how this works, under the hood? ELIZA used a rather shallow form of pattern matching and would transform your input without understanding. You'd say 'I hate my dog,' and it would say 'Tell me more about your dog' but would have zero idea about what a dog is. It is clear to anyone in the field that Siri contains a huge amount of semantic information and is searching at that level."

whodey said, "Quite impressive, actually. Looks like speech recognition has come a long way, and Eliza-style hacking has progressed to the point that it is useful."

MilesT1 said, "This is great! I've made a little bed for Siri right next to the family dog."

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. Mack

    Not new at all. Everyone just thinks it is because it's from a major company like Apple. Funny how people who don't really keep up with tech news and products or are too young to have experience with tech over the decades, claim they know all the answers.

    October 25, 2011 at 4:38 am | Report abuse |
  2. John Tate

    It's not the least bit new. I remember an old BASIC program (ELIZA) I typed in from a book in the early 1980s that did the same thing but with fewer responses. You could add your own, if you felt like it. I suspect there's probably a few websites that run expanded versions of it.

    October 25, 2011 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
  3. Bill

    Just another mindless toy, for the mindless iphone, enjoyed by the mindless minions of Darth Steve (evil Emperor of the Apple Empire). Speaking of which, he didn't really die, he just entered a higher plain of idiocy.

    But hey, so long as Apple keeps delivering cute little toys, wrapped up in a shiny new ipackage, these iMorons will happily continue to shell out big bucks for trashy technology. Personally, I wouldn't own any of that garbage, but I do wish I'd bought some stock about 15 years ago!

    October 25, 2011 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  4. Conrad Miller

    Just another performer in the modern version of the Roman Circus, keeping everyone entertained, stupefied, and ignorant, while making you think you're "cutting edge" with the latest gadgets and gizmos. It's all beads to the natives, people, and you gobble it up and gush over it like it was earth-shaking and life-changing. After a 30-year career in high tech, I know.

    October 25, 2011 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. Cps

    So what if it is "not new"? NOTHING is ever TOTALLY new in tech. But has any similar system ever been anywhere close as awesome as Siri? Duh. Something in Siri is new, just not the whole thing.

    October 25, 2011 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  6. FairnSquare

    Apple did not say SIRI is new. They did not invent the voice command. They just are doing things nice right.
    They did not invent the smart phone.They just made it nice and intuitive. Then everybody followed (right Android?)
    Apple did not invent the tablet/Pad ...they just made it nice and fun. And then.....there comes the bunch of copycats.

    Let's fce it: , Apple – Steve Jobs- has been a very succesful marketing and tech company like it or not.

    October 25, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  7. FireBelly

    I asked Siri to fill out and file my tax returns, and she said she couldn't. This proves what a horrible product Siri is. I think this is quite an oversight on Apple's part. FAIL.

    October 25, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Randy

    Thanks to Siri, you no longer have to TEXT the person sitting next to you. You can just say it, and Siri will convert it to text and send it.

    October 25, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
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