Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, can be frustrating to use at the best of times. Often mishearing phrases at the least opportune moments, looking up the wrong type of restaurant, or opening a similar sounding app, but not the one you actually want. That’s when it’s used by people with an American, or English accent. For those who have English as a second, or third language, accents really make Siri work for her money.
There is no better demonstration of Siri’s ability to frustrate than this video of an Italian grandma, who appears to be in Australia when the video is shot, trying to find out what time it is in the homeland. Shown how pleased Siri is to help, and how she can interact with an Australian accent, Grandma gives it a try. The results won’t be making the next Apple commercial demonstrating Siri’s linguistic versatility.
No, the unseen Aussie doesn’t help much, and he certainly makes poor grandma feel bad about Siri’s inability to understand for a start. But she’s having none of it. “You make me sick!” she says, probably referring to both him and Siri, before eventually throwing the phone back and exclaiming, “You make me mad!”
Proving the video is more about Siri’s (or is it Sira) shortcomings than the user, the iPhone assistant doesn’t even get it right when the question is phrased better, resorting to doing a confused Google search for the time in Italy. Voice control still has a long way to go before it’s a viable everyday use system. Italian grandmothers? They’re awesome all the time.
If you want even more of the video, there’s a ten-minute version here.