May 11, 2012
Siri, Siri On The Wall, Who’s The Greatest Smartphone Of Them All?
Michael Harper for RedOrbit.com
We´re done playing with Siri, right?
When Apple announced their new “intelligent” voice activated assistant, people couldn´t wait to begin using the new feature.
Of course, when we are handed such sophisticated technology, the first way to try it out is to tell it that we´ve become inebriated or ask it if it will close the pod bay doors.
We´re all so very clever.
Entire websites have been dedicated to the whims and musings of Siri, that confounded intelligent assistant. For example, the possibly NSFW: http://shitthatsirisays.tumblr.com/.
Though it´s still in beta, Siri can still be useful and is surprisingly good on occasion. For instance, if you tell Siri you are hungry, it can tell you where all the closest food joints are near you.
Ask for the best pizza places, and it will rank the results according to Yelp scores. Pretty handy.
Now, it appears someone has rigged up parts of the system to get Siri to say a competitor of her's is in fact, the best smartphone ever.
As reported by The Next Web, when you ask Siri to tell you what the best smartphone “ever” is, Siri will respond with “Nokia Lumia 900 4G Mobile Phone.”
Not just any Lumia 900, mind you, the Cyan colored variant on AT&T.
Of course, Apple nor Siri actually believe the Nokia is the best phone. A fine phone, sure, but the best phone?
Part of what makes Siri work is her integration and reliance upon Wolfram Alpha, which uses calculators and algorithms and web-reviews to come up with answers to life´s many questions, such as “What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?”
In the same way Siri calls upon Wolfram Alpha to find that answer (25 mph for a European Swallow, of course) she also calls upon them to find the answer for the best smartphone ever query.
Obviously, there´s been some gaming of the system going on.
The Lumia has been in the news a lot as of late, as Nokia and Windows Phone have been pushing the smartphone hard in order to gain some traction in an otherwise slippery market.
Therefore, it´s likely Wolfram Alpha has either been reading a few positive reviews of the smartphone or some wise-cracking human has found a way to get WA to choose the Lumia over the iPhone 4S, waiting to take the infringing screen shot. Apple has come under fire before for its lack of involvement in Siri´s search results.
Last November, for instance, Apple came under fire when someone had asked Siri for directions to the closest abortion clinic. She instead directed them to a pregnancy crisis center. The ACLU, in particular, took offense that Siri would make this kind of judgment call, especially when she will also tell you where you can find prostitutes and escort services.
Of course, I was curious about Siri´s new stance on smartphones, so I decided to ask her myself what the best smartphone ever was.
Siri, to my dismay, replied.
“Nokia Lumia 900.”
However, it is important to note that, when I left out the word “ever” and asked for the best smartphone, Siri replied “The one you´re holding.”
Consider yourselves smoked, Windows Phone fans.