Woz: Apple made a stinking mess of Siri

The Apple co-founder says that Siri has been dumbed down. He offers examples. He does like the new MacBook, though.

Times-Union Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

"A lot of people say Siri. I say poo-poo."

Yes, poo-poo.

No, these aren't the stink-ridden words of Larry Page or Mark Zuckerberg.

Troublingly, these bon mots reportedly issued from the lips of Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Woz offered his disappointment on a visit to a horse farm in upstate New York -- where he met a no doubt sweet-smelling Belgian crossbreed called Woz. (Yes, named after him.)

Speaking to the Times Union, the Apple co-founder said of Siri: "I was using it to make reservations long before Apple bought it."

It? It? Siri is a she, surely. A very wise and knowing she.

I am grateful to the Business Insider for ruining my Thursday with a link to the following video. For Woz's criticism is, at times, harsh:

Woz explains that before Apple bought Siri, she would be able to tell him all the prime numbers greater than 87. After Apple got its hands on her, the answer to the same question was, allegedly, "prime rib."

Why did it happen? "I'd like to know," says Woz. Can't he call someone at Apple and find out? Perhaps not.

"It should be smart enough to look at the words you say," says Woz. He insists that Google searches aren't good enough for mathematical stuff. Siri should know instinctively when to rise to the more exalted Wolfram Alpha.

Indeed, he says she gets it if you literally say the magic and revolutionary words "Wolfram Alpha." But you shouldn't have to use your brain, he insists, showing a remarkable grasp of modern youth.

Woz is not entirely without hope, however. For he explained: "I'm really disappointed, but it's still a market for the future."

It's not as if Woz is suddenly anti-Apple. Of course not. He says he "really likes" the new MacBook and is also impressed with PassBook, Apple's new wallet-like offering.

Clearly, he is not alone in finding Siri occasionally difficult to live with. But some of the greatest and most loving relationships begin on a rocky, rut-filled road.

 

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