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


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.


  • Thanks Jim Rossman

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.

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