Thanks to HomePod, everyone is talking about Siri and how it compares to the other AI smart assistants created by companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft.
But no matter what Siri’s relative failings may be, the technology is way ahead what was possible only a few years ago — as a brilliant 1980s-style parody for S.I.R.I. software makes abundantly clear. Check it out below.
Created by YouTube channel Squirrel Monkey, the fake promotional video will almost certainly ring true for anyone who remembers using computers in the 80s. While the Macs of the time were comparatively advanced, I was stuck using a MS-DOS PC, and the reminder of having to use command line interfaces and unreliable floppy drives rings all too true.
Still, the video does weirdly succeed at making me nostalgic for a simpler time in computing. There’s no way that home computers of the time would have been able to carry out the kind of complex processing or neural network trickery needed for natural language processing, but imagining what it would have been like to have a tool like Siri in the 1980s is pretty amazing.
As an interesting comparison piece, here’s what Apple was predicting was the future of computing at the time. The actual Siri voice assistant debuted with the iPhone 4s in 2011.