iPhone Siri doesn’t seem so smart in Scotland

Reporting from Edinburgh, Scotland —  D’ye want me tae spaek more clearly, Siri?
Aye, ye would.The Scottish have long been accustomed to ridicule and bafflement over their accents from their fellow Brits, who strain to decipher words like “cannae” and “daftie” (for the record: “can’t” and “fool”). But you’d think that Siri, the voice-activated virtual assistant in Apple’s latest iPhone, would take a nice Scottish brogue in its stride.

Think again. Since the phone debuted in October, many of the Scots who rushed to buy it have discovered that their new “smart” gadget can’t understand them. This is true despite the fact that their phones are set to “English (United Kingdom)” under the “language” setting for Siri, which doesn’t seem to take the distinctive Scottish burr into much account.

“What’s the weather like today?” Darren Lillie said hopefully into his iPhone recently here in the Scottish capital, in a demonstration for an American reporter.

Lillie, 25, is Edinburgh born and bred, and his thick accent shows it.

Siri thought for a moment, then decided it best to repeat what it thought it heard.

“What’s available in Labor Day?” it asked.

Lillie shook his head. “I don’t even know what Labor Day is,” he said ruefully to the American, who told him.

Even in the U.S. and in England, where Siri recognizes speech patterns better, the system is far from flawless. That’s because the program is, in effect, still being tested and fine-tuned. Apple encourages customers to persevere, because the more use the system gets, the more information it has to draw on next time.

In other words, practice helps make Siri perfect.

“Once you’ve been using it for a while, it should pick up your accent,” Lillie said, then paused.

“But if you’ve got a broad accent, you’ve got no chance.”

Read the whole article: The iPhones Siri doesnt seem so smart in Scotland – latimes.com.

Author: Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times, January 31, 2012

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Categories: Business, Science, Technology

Author:Andrew Beato

CEO, Chief Editor and founder of Intentious. Passionate comment enthusiast, amateur philosopher, Quora contributor, audiobook and general knowledge addict.

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One Comment on “iPhone Siri doesn’t seem so smart in Scotland”

  1. February 12, 2012 at 1:54 am #

    Kim Jong Il thinks this is veri siri of Apple and they should frix it

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