How Siri Really Handles Samuel L. Jackson’s Requests

How Siri Really Handles Samuel L. Jackson’s Requests

No one smiles while using Siri in real life.

When Apple began roping in celebrities to promote Siri in its latest iPhone 4S adds, Samuel L. Jackson was one of the first to star alongside the voice-controlled assistant. In the 30-second clip, entitled “Date Night,” he asks Siri to cancel golf, find organic mushrooms, convert volume units, and set a reminder.

Siri does as Jackson asks so quickly that he hardly has chance to finish his sentence. But how would she cope with his requests away from the cameras? The answer is: not very well at all.

http://youtu.be/azBzUEFZIss

Paul Kafasis decided to see just how accurate Apple’s portray of Siri is in that commercial, and he details his finding on his blog, entitled One Foot Tsunami.

You’ve likely seen the Apple ad featuring Samuel L. Jackson using Siri. If you’ve used Siri yourself, however, you know the disclaimer of “Sequences shortened” is more than an understatement. They’ve edited out the inevitable “No.…NO.…NO!” as well as significant quantities of exasperated sighs. After hearing Jackson say the word “hotspacho” for the umpteenth time, I decided to run a little test.

Kafasis gave Siri exactly the same request as Jackson did: “Remind me in an hour to put the gazpacho on ice.” Here’s what Siri heard:

  • Put the spot show on ice
  • Put the spots on Icenhour
  • Put tickets botulinum

Realizing that maybe it was his voice — and not Siri — that was the problem, Kafasis decided to attempt the same request using the audio from Apple’s own commercial. What he found was that Siri has an even harder time understand Jackson’s voice. Her responses:

  • Just Bacchio
  • This Bogil
  • This Poncho

For anyone who’s used Siri in the real world, this results are hardly surprising. While there’s no denying it’s an incredible piece of tech that’s likely to become a big part of Apple’s future devices, right now — while it’s still in beta — it still needs lots of work.

  • MacHead84

    FWIW, I tested the 
    “Remind me in an hour to put the gazpacho on ice.” command weeks ago to see how Siri handled an unusual word like gazpacho and the result was exactly as displayed by the commercial. 

  • Scott Duval

    I love siri, granted she’s on crack a lot of the times and is like a really bad secretary and you find yourself yelling at her because she’s incompetent… I still like her and would buy her a gift at the next holiday party… she tries… 

  • chrisbaker3

    Worked fine for me. Even did it twice.

  • James Bow

    I’ll say it because I’m sure somebody else will: the reason it worked for Samuel L. Jackson and not Mr. Kafasis is because it was Samuel L. Jackson. Siri knows he’d get medieval, otherwise.

  • xMoonDevilx

    Agree with Scott. Sometimes I’d like being Mr. Tudball speaking to Mrs. Wiggins over the intercom (Carol Burnett show for the young and unknowing)…but at least a step in the right direction, and useful…if not funny at times.

  • BrandonSLM

    worked fine for me too.

  • AppleJoeAJ

    lol ok so because Siri couldn’t handle the word “gazpacho” on some dudes iPhone you go and say something like, “But how would she cope with his requests away from the cameras? The answer is: NOT VERY WELL AT ALL”? Really?

  • technochick

    I’ve tried every request in all the ads and they worked perfectly every time. got all 4 of my roommates to try them as well. Perfect every time. 

    In fact the only time that Siri hasn’t been perfect for any of us is
    1. in a noisy room
    2. when we were on 3g in an area known to have up and down quality
    3. the middle of the day on the weekend when everyone and their uncle is probably hitting the server 

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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