How Apple Approached Developing Siri's Personality

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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:
    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
  2. gugy macrumors 68030


    Jan 31, 2005
    La Jolla, CA
    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!
  3. r2shyyou macrumors 68000


    Oct 3, 2010
    Paris, France
  4. troop231 macrumors 603

    Jan 20, 2010
  5. liavman, Oct 15, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011

    liavman macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2009
    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.
  6. AAPLDroid macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2011
  7. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    No, they definitely shouldn't. Despite Cleverbot's name, it's actually dumb as a brick.
  8. Vegasman, Oct 15, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011

    Vegasman macrumors 6502

    Dec 16, 2010
    Well, at least for now they have feedback... it's all over the internet :)
  9. johncrab macrumors 6502


    Aug 11, 2011
    Scottsdale, AZ
    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!
  10. topmounter macrumors 68020


    Jun 18, 2009
    FEMA Region VIII
    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.
  11. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    You can change the language that siri speaks.
  12. Tastic Bycrom macrumors regular

    Jul 15, 2008
    Kansas City, MO
    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!"
  13. HelveticaNeue macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2010
    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.
  14. notabadname macrumors 65816


    Jan 4, 2010
    Detroit Suburbs
    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.
  15. CountlovE macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2007
    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
  16. Elissa267 macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2011
    Siri says

    I put a site together quick,, 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.
  17. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    When I asked it said "please don't make me" :|
  18. TheNinjaJedi macrumors regular


    Jul 16, 2011
    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.

  19. Jerome Morrow macrumors 6502a

    Jerome Morrow

    Jun 13, 2011
    United Kingdom
    My personal favourite " I need to dump a body ..." :D :D
  20. klrobinson999 macrumors 6502

    Dec 28, 2008
    Very jealous of people getting to use and enjoy Siri. Damn AT&T and their resistance to allowing me upgrade 2 months early!!!:(:p
  21. JAQ macrumors 6502

    May 13, 2008
    Purgatory MI
    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.
  22. atari1356 macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2004

    My 7 year old daughter started saying that Siri is "kind of rude" after Siri told her "I don't do knock knock jokes". :D
  23. APlotdevice, Oct 15, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011

    APlotdevice macrumors 68040


    Sep 3, 2011
    Tricorder? Uh, apparently Siri isn't a real trek fan. :rolleyes:

    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.
  24. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    What're you talking about? A tricorder definitely is a star trek thing.

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