Apple's Siri can't even understand Woz

The Apple co-founder also says "machines won the war against humans," and the most important product Apple ever made was the App Store.

Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
Shara Tibken
2 min read

Recode's Ina Fried (left) interviews Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak Wednesday at the Salesforce TrailheaDX conference.

Shara Tibken/CNET

Steve Wozniak thinks artificial intelligence is the future -- but Apple's Siri digital assistant isn't quite there yet.

"Sometimes Siri doesn't get the words right, and I'm pissed," the Apple co-founder said, while noting that Google Now and other voice assistants aren't perfect, either.

"It's not like a perfect human yet, but I want to get there," Wozniak said Wednesday at the Salesforce TrailheaDX conference here in San Francisco. "It's a friend, our best friend, we fall in love with it."

We're still a couple hundred years away from everything running on machines, he said, but machines already "won the war against humans" because a company will fire a human, but it won't fire a machine.

Still, because processors can't get much faster and better -- "we're at the end of Moore's Law," Wozniak said -- computers won't become smarter than humans.

"They're going to be helping us with tasks in our lives for a long, long time, improve our feelings about being humans," he said. "I just love this machine [a smartphone] I couldn't live without...That's what little personal computers were supposed to be about even in the beginning."

Woz, as he's often called, co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs 40 years ago. Though Woz hasn't worked at Apple in decades, he continues to weigh in on the company and tech in general. Just last month, he said Samsung's Gear VR headset makes him "emotional."

Wozniak on Wednesday said the most important product Apple has ever made is the App Store, not the iPhone like he believed for years.

"The most important apps, what would I have done without them?" Wozniak said. "The ones that take me furthest in life are made by third parties."

He acknowledged that consumers aren't downloading many new apps anymore, but said "we're ready to move into virtual reality."

If he and Jobs were starting a company today, Wozniak would want to focus on displays, display quality, virtual reality, or processors with a different type or architecture. Or he'd want to make something like a tennis ball or golf ball with all the electronics inside to sense or control it and work with something like the Apple Watch.

But, he joked, then he'd have to get approval from Apple to tie into its smartwatch.