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  • Siri The New BFF?

    Posted on October 30th, 2011 Michele Sun No comments

    At a post long run social over all sort of different coffees, my running buddies and I all pulled out our iPhones and Android Phones and started communicating very busily but silently at the same time — update Facebook status, upload Runkeeper or mapmyrun, some even texting each other at this table.. etc. Couple older folks also enjoying their morning java at the next table gave us puzzled look, and  the one with NorCal Marathon shirt and apparently a local here assured them “This is Silicon Valley and that is normal.

    Last Sunday after the Morgan Hill Marathon, I asked Siri to find a microbrewery for post race celebration for me, and Siri suggested a place that’s less than 2ml away and turned out the crafted beer was pretty nice! Of course the goofy me wouldn’t stop there, so I tried couple lame questions on my friend’s new iPhone 4s and I am sure every new iPhone user have their own set of lame questions like “Do you love me?” “What are you wearing?“..etc. iPhone is indeed our BFFs for sure. Note that the whole time my friend’s iPhone 4s was muted though.

    Beeri from redpepper

    On Monday, I stumbled upon the Beeri by redpepper and thumb-ups to these guys’ creativity!! Hoping one of these days Siri can pour me a Belgian in a nice goblet, I posted that wishful thinking on Google+. Interestingly a friend of mine commented “So, Siri’s a guy for you?”.   Even though he reasoned that Siri is the diminutive of Sigrid, and it’s a feminine name but it still intrigued me why he thinks Siri wouldn’t be a guy?

    I posted “do you think Siri is a girl or guy?” on both Google+ and Facebook, and the responses were quite interesting. First of all, I got replies from almost all guys and only one girl. And among the answers mostly said “Siri is a girl”, and three said no-gender. I pressed and two still insisted that Siri is “It”, and that made me wonder if Jobs had heard this what would he think? Because these two “It”s came from Apple engineers and really don’t want to assume engineers are lack of imagination though.

    I think Apple voluntarily left this particular point to the user, as Siri answered “Sir, they did not assign me a gender yet” when Jobs asked “Siri, are you a man or woman?”  While most of us have our hands almost glued to our iPhone or Android phone, we give our devices flavor and personality depends on how we use it. Everyone wants a companion and imagines it the way s/he wants, so will Siri, with Artificial Intelligence in his DNA, learn our behavior  and only speaks what we wish to hear later on or get frustrated that “you will never listen anyway”?

    Several guys commented that Siri is an assistant so she is a girl, and her tone is certainly very female to them. But I look at Siri as someone that I would ask for advices, suggestions and opinions and it never occurred to me that Siri is not a guy. Very interesting to see how we befriend with our smartphone, isn’t it? I wonder if  Siri  will eventually turn into our best pals and always say “you look nice” every time they see us, or acts like a Chinese relative that comments “you have gained weight”.


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