Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is well-known for being rather outspoken on his opinions. This time around, Woz has a few things to say about Siri that aren’t exactly bright and cheery. In an interview with Times Union (via 9to5Mac), Woz suggests that Siri was actually a better and more accurate product before Apple purchased it.
As some of you are likely well aware, Siri was a free iOS app before Apple purchased it and integrated it into the iPhone 4S. Siri was a little bit different in those days, however – it was mainly used to search for information, and lacked the ability to make phone calls or schedule calendar events.
Here’s what Woz had to say:
“A lot of people say Siri. I say poo-poo,” Wozniak said. “I was using it to make reservations long before Apple bought it.”
“I would say, ‘Siri, what are the five largest lakes in California?’ and it would come up, one, two, three, four, five. And I would ask ‘What are the prime numbers greater than 87?’ and they would come up all in a row. That was pretty incredible,” Wozniak said.
“Then Apple bought Siri,” he said. He then paused, lifted his right hand and gave it a big thumbs down.
“‘What are the largest lakes in California?’ I’d get all these lakefront properties. And I’d say ‘What are the prime numbers greater than 87?’ And I’d get prime rib,” Wozniak said.
He also had some good things to say about Siri, however, noting that he still believes it represents the future of how we will interact with technology, and he believes it will get far better over time.
Woz isn’t off base with this. I used Siri before Apple hired her to be a digital assistant, and her behavior has indeed changed. The service now tends to focus more on finding restaurants, scheduling events, and so forth, and less on retrieving facts and information. Some of this is also likely due to the differences in how Siri originally processed data, and how Apple chooses to process data now that they have acquired Siri.
To those of you that feel Siri could be better: You now have a friend in high places! Hopefully, as Woz suggests, the service will indeed improve significantly. Apple has already introduced a number of new features to Siri, and will continue to tweak it and refine it over time.
So, let’s raise a glass: “To Siri, the future of technology!” You can check out a video clip of the interview below (Flash-only, sorry)!