Siri tells users: Get to the point

Software tweak prompts verbose inquirers to choose their words wisely.

CNET

If you're the type of person who asks long-winded questions, Siri would like to change your ways.

Apple's server-powered software assistant is now telling users to trim down questions that are too long or otherwise complicated -- a move that iLounge suggests is to retrain how users interact with the service versus an actual human being.

If Siri deems your question verbose, the software will serve up quotes that suggest brevity, a comedic -- though also passive-aggressive -- move. Some of the quotes come from author William Strunk, former U.S. President Thomas Jefferson, and fictional characters like Hawkeye from M*A*S*H.

The effort to retrain Siri users is of note given how Apple originally pitched the service as capable of understanding conversational questions.

The change, which is believed to have arrived in the past week, is the latest behind-the-scenes tweak to Siri since Apple launched it alongside the iPhone 4S in 2011. Apple has noted its ambitions to improve the software, most recently by posting a number of jobs seeking people to help "refresh and refine existing Siri dialog."

 

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