Apple defends 'deceptive' Siri in lawsuit

Apple's fought back in a lawsuit that claims its voice-controlled assistant is 'misleading and deceptive'.

Apple's fighting back against claims that its Siri voice-controlled assistant isn't all it's cracked up to be, saying legal complaints filed in March against the snarky robot butler are too vague to be taken seriously.

Legal action taken in March by a New York man called Frank M Fazio moaned that Siri wasn't performing with the same finesse as in the TV ads, which show Siri doing things like making appointments or looking up guitar chords.

"In the commercials, all of these tasks are done with ease with the assistance of the iPhone 4S 's Siri feature, a represented functionality contrary to the actual operating results and performance of Siri," the initial complaint reads.

Apple's having none of it, the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog writes. Apple's reportedly filed a motion to dismiss the original complaint along with similar lawsuits, saying the gripes "offer only general descriptions of Apple's advertisements, incomplete summaries of Apple's website materials, and vague descriptions of their alleged -- and highly individualised -- disappointment with Siri."

Apple's response also says that those unhappy with Siri didn't try to return their iPhones under Apple's 30-day returns policy, and points out that while Siri is "cutting-edge", the mechanical maitre d' is still in beta -- something that was stated during Apple's October press conference and on its website.

Legal nitpicking aside, Siri is rather disappointing, doing a poor job of figuring out what I'm saying most of the time. Despite Apple's flurry of toothache-inducingly twee ads, Siri remains unappealing in the UK, where Apple has no partnership with a broker of local information, meaning it can't look up businesses, shops or give directions.

That said, it can tell you how old Kevin Costner is, which some would call an invaluable service. On the other hand, Siri did break my colleague's heart -- something I can never forgive.

Do you think Siri's any cop? Are the ads misleading? Record your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

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About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.

 

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