Hilarity ensued in the Australian Senate earlier this month as the iPhone voice assistant Siri interrupted and derailed an official committee hearing.
Australian Senator Rachel Siewert was making a fine point about non-compliance in an Education and Employment Legislation Committee hearing when she heard the familiar beep from her iPhone that means that Siri was looking for orders.
Siri’s comment — “Sorry, I did not get that” was not only entered into the transcript under “unidentified speaker” but the exchange caused the chamber to break out in laughter and jokes.
Here’s the transcript:
— Found In The Hansard (@inthehansard) May 13, 2016
One senator even suggested that if they were to teach Siri parliamentary procedures, then the officials could simply leave the room and let the robot assistants finish the hearing.
Siri on the latest iPhones is “always listening” for “hey Siri,” its wake-up word, which is intended so users can activate Siri without pressing a button, so perhaps a phrase said in the committee activated Siri.
But in this case, what’s most likely is that Senator Siewert just accidentally pressed her home button. Still, either way, the exchange is immortalised in official transcripts forever.
Here’s the video:
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