A report from the most recent issue of Fortune magazine profiles Apple CEO Tim Cook as a capable leader who is in the process of leaving his own mark on the company. However, the article also quotes a former Apple employee as saying that Apple employees are “embarrassed by Siri” and that Steve Jobs would have “lost his mind over Siri.”
The Siri voice assistant feature launched as a beta with the iPhone 4S last October. However, some consumers have been unsatisfied by the service’s performance, especially as compared to television advertisements touting it, and have filed class-action lawsuits against the company.
“People are embarrassed by Siri,” author Adam Lashinsky quoted a “former insider” as saying. “Steve [Jobs] would have lost his mind over Siri.”
Users have been testing Siri by attempting to replicate requests put to the service by the celebrities in the current crop of commercials. AppleInsider says, “developer Paul Kafasis followed actor Samuel L. Jackson’s lead in asking Siri for a reminder to “put the gazpacho on ice in an hour,” but he was unable to have the sentence understood, as noted by Daring Fireball. Kafasis even went so far as to use the audio from Jackson’s commercial to submit a request to Siri. The service responded by attempting to call names that were combinations of his phone’s contacts.”
(Authors note, I just tried it with Siri, and was able to get the proper response, an offer to set a reminder in an hour, the first try. And I am a notorious “low talker” who jumbles his words regularly.)
The most recent commercials feature simple one-word requests to Siri from actor John Malkovich. It is not known if this was an intentional move by Apple to nip criticism, or if they were merely playing off of the quirky actor’s image.