Siri – my problem child

I knew the idea of a free-vocabulary speech interpreting assistant. Siri just made it realistic. It’s a superb piece of software, or would be, if not only for the quite limited capabilities it currently has. There’s also some idiosyncratic ways (I’d call bugs) that iOS in general handles text and other data, depending on context.

Let’s get to my mobile notes, taken by Siri’s speech dictation:

“First deficiency of Siri is that it cannot remove Laura uninstall apps by voice which would be very useful sometimes when you’re busy in a car Orine another situation in an environment where you really can start tapping the phone.”

You get the idea, anyway. Don’t let the minor glitch in interpretation bug you. What I’m saying is that I’d really like to control my phone over Siri. People pop apps like morning cereal. It’s not such a big deal, mentally, to decide to uninstall an app. Well, physically it is. It’d be great if Siri could take over the task, as an assistant. I mean, assistants are the elongation of the master’s hands, doing things that are possible but perhaps laborious and unfruitful to the originator? Siri’s a picky girl. She doesn’t do all kinds of things. And for a robot, I’d say that’s direct violation of Asimov’s laws. 

“The second deficiency of Siri personal assistant is that it is asymmetric — for example it cannot read aloud notes though it was fully capable of turning into text, which is considered the harder task in computer science.” 

Voice synthesis came much earlier than voice recognition. So it’s a bit of a mystery to me why Siri can’t read aloud the notes to me?

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