Comparatively speaking, Siri is “not bright”

I sure wish Apple would improve Siri faster. Compared to Alexa, Siri is not bright. I can tell Alexa to connect the echo to my iPhone and “she” does perfectly. I ask Siri to connect to my echo and “she” can’t.

I’m playing an Apple Christmas radio station on my HomePods. I was not sure what the station is (I want to remember fo the future) so I ask Siri, “what station is playing.” Response: “I don’t know what station is playing.” NOTE: Siri picked the station. What gives? :-). Oh well, a 1st world “problem.” :slight_smile:

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Independent tests published recently show Siri is right more frequebtly than Alexa and only slightly behind Google Home.

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That’s interesting. That may be true when it comes to requesting specific information put in so far as general commands go in relation to other devices and other things it does not seem as good as my Alexa. But perhaps that’s my imagination? One with think that confirmation bias having spent hundreds of dollars on HomePods we steer me in the other direction. :slight_smile:

It depends on what you ask Siri (or Alexa). I had a playlist in Apple Music named “My Acoustic” which befuddled Siri no matter how I phrased the “Hey Siri, play …” command on my HomePod.

It was the “my” that confused Siri. As soon as I changed the playlist name to something that did not use one of Siri’s trigger words, the problem ended.

Katie

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We named a lamp in our living room “George” because Siri couldn’t understand whatever we called it before.

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My wife is from Philly and I from a celtic country. Neither Siri or Alexa seem to cope with me very well consequently. I have seen alexa pick up a lot recently though, I think anyway.

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I started with the Siri app and was thrilled when Apple purchased it. But it has never lived up to its promise. Today, I mainly use Siri in the car to make notes, add items to my calendar, task and shopping lists, etc. And it normally completes these tasks successfully. When I ask Siri on my HomePod to add something to my calendar it normally gets it right, but when I ask it to add something to my shopping list it says I don’t have one. Sad.

In the beginning I thought Siri wasn’t progressing because it wasn’t a priority to Apple. Now it’s starting to look like Siri will never be as capable as a cloud based assistant.

Until “she” will consistently give spoken answers to spoken requests for off-device information I have to use the command “Hey Siri, OK Google”

My experience with Siri is that it’s utterly wretched, worse than useless. That sounds harsh, but it’s not really intended to be: to be of use to me, this kind of thing has to be at least as good as dealing with a person and Siri comes nowhere close. It seems as if others have managed to develop a report with it, but I find myself on the receiving end of some variation of, “I’m sorry but I can’t do that,” far, far more often than not.

I don’t have any experience with other voice assistants, but I don’t hold out much hope for them either.

Oddly enough, my car has voice input for all kinds of functions that work far better than Siri, if only because the ambition is so much lower. The words or phrases that it can understand in a given scenario are displayed on the screen, and as long as I don’t slip too far into a Canadian accent, it always understands what I want it to do.

My experience is almost completely positive. I try to do a yearly blog post revisiting the topic and reevaluating and seeing this post the other day was a reminder that I’d not done a Siri post in awhile. So, http://beardyguycreative.com/blog/2019/12/04/siri-i-trust-you-mostly/

An anecdote not in the above post that just happened yesterday… While driving to the store I got a text reminder from my dentist about an appointment next week. When I parked I read the text and called them to reschedule. Ended the call and asked Siri to “cancel next week’s dentist appointment”. She confirmed the date and appointment to cancel and then deleted. I probably could have asked to reschedule rather than delete. Afterwards I asked Siri to create a new appoint for dentist January 22 at 9am.

In the post linked above I dig just a wee bit into my thoughts on why some people seem to have a great experience and some have a bad experience. And, maybe because I recently watched the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving cartoon I also brought Lucy and Charlie Brown into the story. It seemed appropriate. :grinning:

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So Siri just absolutely controls our home. We have 41 smart bulbs, and a whole bunch of other devices, and clearly do not operate our own light switches like some kind of Neanderthals. We now have HomePods in three rooms so Siri is ambiently (it’s totally a word) available most of the time.

I use Siri with my AirPods for messages and playback control. I also trigger about 50% of my shortcuts via Siri (on HomePod).

I think you have to learn to use Siri somewhat. She’ll do natural language interpretation (which immediately elevates her over Alexa for me) but you still need to be aware of what you’re asking and that you’re giving her clear instructions. She can’t interpret meaning; you need to be unambiguous. You also need to understand how she’s going to try and resolve a query. When you get a Safari referral instead of a Wolfram Alpha response it is predictable. You may need to learn this through use.

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Good AI shouldn’t need to be learned - it should be the other way around. We use Alexa and Siri at our home, and Siri is most commonly referred to as “knucklehead” by my kids and other names by me (which I won’t repeat) when I’m in the car. We’re not on the “smart home” train, so our AI is mainly used for infotainment, schedules and some kinds of communication. There’s no comparison between the two when it comes to being used as a reference device. Siri almost only answers with, “Here’s what I found on the web,” which of course is entirely useless while driving and inconvenient at home, while Alexa answers questions directly. My kids like Siri at home because the answers to normal human conversation are often bizarre and thus highly entertaining to school-age kids. We’ve never used Google or other AI. But for now, Alexa is more useful for us.

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Siri (and the rest) are not AIs. They’re not related to AI and they don’t behave like AI.

Siri is just a software interface, like windows and buttons and a mouse cursor.

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You hit the nail on the head.