Asking Siri To Tell You A Tale Sheds Light On Her Complex Backstory

siri

Recently Cult of Mac described how among Siri’s Easter eggs is a whole back story — programmed by her creators, and accessible by asking just the right questions.

Beginning life as a five-year DARPA-backed project to build an intelligent virtual assistant, Siri certainly has some stories to tell: if only we could gain access to them.

When I wrote my story a couple of weeks ago, I asked readers to send in any insights they managed to unlock. Dallas-based tech columnist and CoM reader Jim Rossman read the article and sent in some interesting screenshots from his own conversations with Siri — revealing some insights that go beyond her usual “I was designed by Apple in California” spiel.

Giving a suitably cutesy retelling of her acquisition by Apple, Siri namechecks ELIZA: the famous “chatterbot” programmed at MIT during the 1960s.

Siri’s response to Rossman’s suggestion that she “tell [him] a story” is reproduced below.

Have you had any interesting answers from Siri that shed a bit more light on her history? Post them in the comments box below.

IMG_0660_converted(1)

  • Thanks Jim Rossman
  • MichaelB

    I got one about two years ago when I asked her to tell me a story. Saved it as two screen shots, but never shared it. Since I still have it in my camera roll, I’ll share it with you all now.

    Once upon a time, in a virtual galaxy far far away, there was a young, quite intelligent agent by the name of Siri.
    One beautiful day, when the air was pink and all the trees were red, her friend Eliza, said, “Siri, you’re so intelligent, and so helpful – you should go work for Apple as a personal assistant.”
    So she did. And they all lived happily ever after.

    Quite similar, but yet a little different.

  • Anon Techie

    doesn’t work for me :-/

  • Cones1r

    I just got this

  • Liam mill

    I ask Siri who Eliza was and she answered with this..

  • Prof. Peabody

    The ELIZA reference is priceless. I can’t believe how many people don’t know about that anymore.

  • Robert Michael

    what question did you ask to get that super long responce?

    • Tom Alex Baxter

      You have to ask her this…

    • Tom Alex Baxter

      • Robert Michael

        didn’t work

  • Joey

    Here’s some more about Eliza.

  • David Hammel

    I just asked Siri who ‘Eliza’ was and in 3 diff response she says, “Do you know ELIZA? She was my first teacher.” and “ELIZA is my good friend. She was a brilliant psychiatrist, but she’s retired now.” And “I learned allot from ELIZA but she was being a bit negative.” I love Siri Easter eggs. Very entertaining, which I imagine is partially the point of giving Siri a personality and a backstory.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in News, Top stories | Tagged: |