Apple’s Siri Makes References to the Classics

Apparently, the Apple engineers who designed Siri, the speech recognition-based personal assistant that made its appearance on iPhone 4S, have a weird sense of humor, exemplified in the following pictures.

As seen in the left side of the above picture, Siri is not only accepting to become a partner in crime, but it (I apologize for being so impersonal and for refusing to call an app he or she) also comes with several suggestions. In case you are out of ideas, the options provided by the app are quite good. In fact, this reminds of a spoof ad that you can watch here.

The one on the right, however, is obviously a nod to Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”. In the movie, HAL 9000, which is a form of artificial intelligence, refuses to open the pod bay doors to Dave Bowman, who is one of the astronauts. For a better idea, you should check out the video on Youtube. Siri’s answer is somehow personalized, as it includes the name of the user.

Further on there is a reference to “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams, where 42 is the “Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.” The formula used by the one who asked the question, however,  is closer to Monty Python, rather than to the aforementioned book.

Not at last, Siri seems to also be able to accommodate the needs of… erm… people with medical prescriptions for light drugs. At least that’s how it looks like. The answer Siri gives is not to be taken for granted, especially considering the distance.

Still, people should keep in mind that the real goal of Siri is to help with:

  • Calendar
  • Checking the weather
  • Clocks
  • Contacts
  • Email
  • Maps
  • Music
  • Notes
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Stocks
  • Web browser
  • Wolfram Alpha

I’m pretty sure that in the future we will see many such screenshots, some more authentic than the others. After all, this is how it all started with AutoCorrect, too. In the beginning there were a few genuine situations and now we even have web sites that generate AutoCorrect screenshots with whatever text you want. My final question is: how does Siri handle the Scottish accent? Jokes apart, Siri features support for English (Australia, UK and US), as well as French and German.

If you liked this post, please check the iPhone 4S launch and the new Apple iOS 5.