Siri’s co-creator hits back at claims Siri was broken from launch


Siri IQ
"Well, you could start by not slating Siri!"
Photo: Apple

Any time you slate a product that a lot of people worked hard on, you’re bound to get some pushback.

In the wake of a recent damning report, suggesting that Siri is broken, and has pretty much been that way since the start, Siri’s co-founder Dag Kittlaus has hit back at one of the article’s claims.

Having amicably left Apple just days after the iPhone 4s launch, Kittlaus is not in a position to speak to the newer reports about Siri, such as that it is a largely directionless project that Apple is even considering tearing up and starting again.

However, what he disagrees with is a quote from former Apple executive Richard Williamson, who left the company in 2012 following the disastrous launch of Apple Maps.

“After launch, Siri was a disaster,” Williamson was quoted as saying in The Information‘s Siri profile. “It was slow, when it worked at all. The software was riddled with serious bugs. Those problems lie entirely with the original Siri team, certainly not me.”

On Twitter, Kittlaus responded by writing that, “This statement, wholly false, was made by the architect and head of the biggest launch disaster in Apple history, Apple Maps. In reality Siri worked great at launch but, like any new platform under unexpectedly massive load, required scaling adjustments and 24 hour workdays.”

The Information editor Jessica Lessin answered that tweet by writing, “Thanks for sharing your views publicly!”

Kittlaus went on to note that, “Siri wasn’t perfect but it was the first of its kind and set a completely new bar for conversational assistants that, ten years later, every top tech company is attempting to replicate and dominate.”

While everyone seems to agree that Siri had a few teething problems early on, though, Richard Williamson’s comments raised the ire of notable tech journalist and Apple writer Steven Levy.

“That quote is kind of amazing,” he writes. “Even if true (and I believe Dag) brazenly pushing blame to someone else for a product you were responsible for is a very bad look.”

You can read The Information‘s original report on Siri here — although it’s worth noting that it’s behind a paywall.