Siri, When Will Personal Digital Assistants Finally Work?

My daughter, who is not quite two, loves to talk to Siri. She will grab my phone, press the home button until it beeps, and then holler into the phone, “Hi Siri! Hi Siri! Hi Siri!” Siri never understands. Ever. And yet, my daughter keeps on trying. This seems like a metaphor.

I was an early and vocal Siri critic. When the feature shipped, it wasn’t even close to ready for prime time, and its wink-wink, nudge-nudge beta label only made Apple’s decision to base an entire ad campaign around it all the more galling. And so, a year ago, I argued that Siri wasn’t ready, that it was “often quite dumb. Sure, it will do what you tell it. But it doesn’t interpret or do nuance, even though that is exactly what Apple promises.”

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