“How can you be so stupid”: veteran journalist Walt Mossberg criticized Siri

Despite the fact that the Siri voice assistant is pretty simple to use and Apple is constantly working on improving it, technology capabilities are still quite limited, compared with Google and Amazon. Well-known journalist and tech guru Walt Mossberg criticized virtual assistant, Apple calling it “dumb” and “limited.”


"How can you be so stupid": veteran journalist Walt Mossberg criticized Siri

Apple has two major problems: first, the company does not inform users about the new features of Siri. Voice assistant is sometimes updated, but about new users know only from blogs; secondly, the progress of Siri is not as noticeable as those of competitors. In an article for the Verge Walt Mossberg writes that Apple had a huge head start in the competition with other companies developing voice assistants – Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook. However, it was wasted, because the products of many competitors now carry out tasks more efficient than Siri.

Apple says it is committed to pay as much attention to tasks and requests that users face every day: phone calls, sending messages. Simple and short queries can be much more useful heaped niche, believe in Apple. However, an incorrect response to one or more “unpopular” questions often leads to frustration and the abandonment of further work with Siri, says Mossberg.


“If you ask Siri as the intelligent assistant, about the world, it is likely to fail, though on the presentations and on the Apple website Siri company proves the opposite (I’m not talking about the misinterpretation of voice commands. The last time Siri understands everything I say but she has no correct answer)”, – the journalist writes.

"How can you be so stupid": veteran journalist Walt Mossberg criticized Siri

Siri understands language, but it is unsuitable for obtaining information about current events, said the journalist.


“In recent weeks, Siri was unable to name the names of the main presidential candidates and Vice-presidents of the United States. She didn’t know when will be held the ceremony of awarding the Emmy. Or when starts the World Series. When I asked: “What is the weather in Crete?” Siri called the weather in the small village of Crete in Illinois, although most users mean a Greek island – said the journalist. – Google Now for Apple devices using the same voice commands, has correctly answered all the questions”.

Siri is able to handle relatively simple requests, whereas Google Now handles more complex. The user can “ask” the assistant to show all the shows at the nearby theaters, and then add: “Take the children”, then all inappropriate speech will disappear from the list. Another example is a situation where the owner is located near the statue of Liberty and asks: “Who is the designer of this building?”. Assistant Google analyses the user’s location and gives the answer.

According to Mossberg, Apple has created the voice of a robot companion who is not able to understand the spoken language. Siri good speech recognition algorithm, but the analysis of the issues sharpened by a primitive monosyllabic structure.

"How can you be so stupid": veteran journalist Walt Mossberg criticized Siri

One of the problems is that Apple focuses on the privacy of users, so the voice assistant does not save personal data and, consequently, “studies” habits of man. Most of the information about the owner is stored on the device, and Apple does not have access to it. However, there are other data available to the company, which Siri does not use correctly.

“Voice assistants are getting smarter every day and Siri including. That’s just the impression that assistant from Apple will still be behind, solving simple queries,” concluded Mossberg.

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