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Old Oct 15, 2011, 12:23 PM   #1
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How Apple Approached Developing Siri's Personality




Many readers are now enjoying some of the quirkier responses coming from Siri, Apple's intelligent assistant built into the iPhone 4S. The Wall Street Journal spoke with one of the co-founders of the original Siri and how they approached instilling Siri with personality:
Quote:
"There were many conversations within the team about whether it should be gender neutral" or "should have an 'attitude,' " said Mr. Winarsky, who didn't go to Apple, and still works at SRI. The result, before the software was bought by Apple, was "occasionally a light attitude," he said.
According to a different person who actually worked at Apple on the Siri project, Apple focused on keeping Siri's personality "friendly and humble -- but also with an edge". According to their source, they were thinking "How would we want a person to respond?" while developing the software.




The Siri group is said to be one of the largest software teams at Apple and the crafted responses are to try to forge an emotional tie to customers. MacRumors forum readers are posting their favorite responses in this discussion thread.

Siri launched as an exclusive feature for the iPhone 4S and allows users to speak questions and requests directly to their iPhone.

Article Link: How Apple Approached Developing Siri's Personality
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 12:27 PM   #2
gugy
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Siri is neat, I still have some hard time talking to it. Maybe due my heavy accent. But I think this is a game changer. Once this feature keep developing, it might take this to higher grounds. Good job Apple!
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 12:28 PM   #3
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The Easter Eggs thread is providing some great entertainment.
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 12:28 PM   #4
troop231
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I like the humor Apple gave Siri

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Old Oct 15, 2011, 12:29 PM   #5
liavman
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I think they keep adding to the set of possible responses to questions like 'What is the meaning of life'. I see more and more varied responses as more and more people ask that question.

But Apple SIRI team has access to everything. What people are asking and in what way. So, this personality will also develop as time goes by, since they can tweak it. They can also evolve it as the world around us changes and new cultural norms develop.

One thing they do not have is the feedback mechanism. What are people's reactions to SIRI's output at each instance? Even a small sample of feedback is just enough.

Like SIRI says something funny, the feedback is 'Siri, that is pretty cool'. Or 'that is disgusting'. Or 'you do not know anything. you are dumb'..whatever... That will be a treasure. But currently there is no conversational way to provide that feedback to SIRI. That is a bit unfortunate. In real world, that feedback is what helps people evolve a personality.

There is still a UI way. After the SIRI response, before the next touch of the Mic, whatever the user says right away can be treated as that feedback. But SIRI has to be listening at that point. I do not think it does currently. But that can be changed.

Last edited by liavman; Oct 15, 2011 at 12:36 PM.
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 12:29 PM   #6
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They should merge Siri with Cleverbot.
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 12:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AAPLDroid View Post
They should merge Siri with Cleverbot.
No, they definitely shouldn't. Despite Cleverbot's name, it's actually dumb as a brick.
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 12:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liavman View Post

One thing they do not have is the feedback mechanism. What are people's reactions to SIRI's output at each instance? Even a small sample of feedback is just enough.
Well, at least for now they have feedback... it's all over the internet

Last edited by Vegasman; Oct 15, 2011 at 02:24 PM.
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 12:41 PM   #9
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I have found Siri to be amazingly accurate and fun to play with, but can see it will be a very useful tool - much better than the voice commands of the previous generation.

Siri does not speak Spanish and that's where the real fun comes in. I asked Siri in Spanish where the Chivas of Guadalajara play fútbol and the response was to identify a bubblegum factory, but it got the city right!
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 12:42 PM   #10
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It's funny and all, but it all still feels scripted.

What matters is how Siri performs when you're in rush hour traffic, experiencing road rage and you need a taco fix.
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 12:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johncrab View Post
Siri does not speak Spanish and that's where the real fun comes in. I asked Siri in Spanish where the Chivas of Guadalajara play fútbol and the response was to identify a bubblegum factory, but it got the city right!
You can change the language that siri speaks.
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 12:45 PM   #12
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Siri's neat, but still lacking a in music control IMO. I like to listen to entire albums by an artist. For the previous voice control and sadly for Siri as well, I have to know the exact name of an album and hope it's unique among album names on my iPod.

What I want is "Play an album by Foo Fighters" and a response to be "Which album? Foo Fighters, The Colour and the Shape, There Is Nothing Left to Lose,...." then "That one!"
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 12:47 PM   #13
arn
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from the easter eggs thread

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1246706



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Old Oct 15, 2011, 12:47 PM   #14
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I have been really impressed with Siri. Last night Siri blew me away when I said "Add oatmeal to my groceries note". I felt certain Siri wouldn't have any idea what I meant. A second later Siri says okay and pops up my already existing grocery list in notes and adds Oatmeal on a new line at the end of the list ... I was stunned.
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 12:48 PM   #15
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Siri is my favorite feature of the 4S

Love my new 4S for many reasons. But Siri has made the phone "fun" and truly a conversation piece. Seeing it in action has raised a lot of eyebrows for would be naysayers.
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 12:51 PM   #16
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When I tell Siri to get me a hooker, it shows a list of local escort companies.

Funny huh? That's the first thing I impress people with. :P
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 12:51 PM   #17
Elissa267
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Siri says

I put a site together quick, http://iactuallysaid.com, to collect all this stuff, I submitted a couple to *****irisays and that guy never put them up. So I figured it'd be fun to collect them all without a gateway.
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 12:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arn View Post
from the easter eggs thread
When I asked it said "please don't make me" :|
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 12:56 PM   #19
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Oh how I wish Siri would would on my iPhone 4 that I just got in July. I really can't justify spending $649 for an unlocked 4s from Apple just for this.

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Old Oct 15, 2011, 12:59 PM   #20
Jerome Morrow
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My personal favourite " I need to dump a body ..."
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 01:08 PM   #21
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Very jealous of people getting to use and enjoy Siri. Damn AT&T and their resistance to allowing me upgrade 2 months early!!!
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 01:08 PM   #22
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My first encounter with this kind of "artificial intelligence" was maybe 25 years ago, playing one of the interactive text games from Infocom. You'd give simple commands to your character or to a robot you were controlling or whatever, to navigate and interact with the imaginary environment, e.g. "GO NORTH" "PICK UP SWORD" "GO TO CARGO BAY" "OPEN BOOK". At one point, getting frustrated with a puzzle I was having trouble solving, I typed "GO TO HELL". The computer replied, "WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU AREN'T ALREADY THERE?" I nearly died laughing.

Siri is really just doing the same thing, but with voice recognition.
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 01:09 PM   #23
atari1356
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Funny...

My 7 year old daughter started saying that Siri is "kind of rude" after Siri told her "I don't do knock knock jokes".
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 01:11 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troop231 View Post
I like the humor Apple gave Siri

Thumb resize.
Tricorder? Uh, apparently Siri isn't a real trek fan.


EDIT: And neither are a majority of people on this forum I guess. Not that this post was meant to be taken seriously. It was just a little tongue-in-cheek for the nerdier folks who know their communicators from their tricorders.
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 01:17 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by APlotdevice View Post
Tricorder? Uh, apparently Siri isn't a real trek fan.
What're you talking about? A tricorder definitely is a star trek thing.
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