When I decided recently to get myself an iPhone, I knew that I was not ready for the ‘latest features’ Apple were offering, namely, Siri. Apple claims that this feature ‘lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more…’ I wondered whether I really needed to spend an extra $50 to get my phone to talk back to me or follow instructions. It seemed like getting a pet parrot that was filled with apps. I’ve gone two weeks without feeling at a loss for the talking personal digital assistant phone, but I wonder now if I should make a plea for this feature to be enhanced. The extent of this could be quite large, as you branch off the possible initial and supplementary questions that could be asked.
But, I think I would like Siri to help with simple tasks that should be in-character. If I misplace my phone, as I and many phone owners do all too often, would Siri help me find it if I said “Where are you, my dear little iPhone?” Would it come back with a comments such as “You’re warm…warmer…very warm…hot. Got me!”? Better still, how about finding anything that I have misplaced?
Would Siri help me with relationship issues, and I don’t mean flirting with the female or male computer-enhanced voice? Could I take it to the store and ask its opinion on a gift for my wife? Will it help me find something clever to say about the bizarre concoction that may be served to me by my dinner hosts? It would be neat to take a picture of the meal and be able to ask “Tell me what you think of this”.
People are already very animated with their phones and sometimes when I have seen someone apparently going loco and talking to themself, they have been in conversation on the phone, and all the hand- or arm-waving was toward someone who was not present. But, take it a step further. Does this vocal PDA have the ability to get into an argument? Siri apparently has a personality, of a Mr. Spockish-logical sense. So, maybe my wish is not so far from a possible reality.
I’ve passed the regret test with Siri, and am not missing something that I do not have. But, in an era where people want to talk to devices as much if not more than to each other, I wonder if Siri will soon be a must have for life’s lonely hearts.