Like a Good Parent, Siri’s Father Comes to Her Defense

Like a Good Parent, Siri’s Father Comes to Her Defense

The man who is known as the “Father of Siri” has a message for those users who think Siri isn’t all she’s cracked up to be, She may not be perfect, but she’s working just fine!

Tom Ziegler, writing for Fortune:

Dag Kittlaus was speaking at a Crain’s Tech Talk Q&A session in Chicago Monday night. “I completely disagree with people who say it doesn’t work very well,” he told moderator Tom Ryan, CEO of hip t-shirt maker Threadless. “You don’t launch a product that isn’t into the 90th percentile of working if you’re using it properly.”

Ziegler says that Kittlaus doesn’t deny that Siri has had growing pains. Apple touted Siri as the headlining feature of the iPhone 4S upon it’s release late last year, but many users have felt let down. While Apple did launch Siri with a “BETA” label, slow response times, and problems with speech recognition have led to complaints.

Ziegler reports that Kittlaus had something to say about that during his talk. “You run into some connectivity issues occasionally,” Kittlaus told Ryan. “And of course, there are definitely moments where it takes a little bit too long, but it’s a very complex problem that they’re working very hard at fixing and making it perfect, and I think you’ll see it get better and better over time.”

Kittlaus no longer works at Apple. In 2007 he helped launch the firm that begat Siri. In April 2010, Apple purchased the firm for an estimated $200 million. Kittlaus stayed with Apple for a year and a half, resigning to move back to the suburbs of Chicago to spend more time with his family.

Ziegler reports that Ryan read a comment sent to Crain’s by a user who said he enjoyed Siri — when it worked. “Sometimes it gets it right,” he read. “Sometimes it flat-out misses.” Kittlaus bristled and answered, “It’s not perfect,” which prompted Ryan to joke, “Don’t shoot the messenger. I’m just reading these questions.”

Kittlaus defense of his offspring came the same day as the keynote address at the opening of the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco. Along with other announcements, Apple revealed a list of Siri upgrades that will hopefully go a long way toward easing some of the complaints users have had about the “personal assistant”.

Ziegler’s article goes into more detail about Kittlaus’ comments at the Tech Talk, and is highly recommended reading.