How Siri actually responds to Samuel L. Jackson’s commands

Samuel L. Jackson Siri iPhone 4S commercial screencap

By now, unless you’ve sworn off television, you must have seen the new iPhone 4S Siri commercials featuring Hollywood stars Zooey Deschanel and Samuel L. Jackson. Zooey dances around ordering in soup on a rainy day, Samuel is looking for help making a dinner date at home. We’ve seen it so many times we can practically quote the whole thing.

But of course, like all commercials, you can’t truly trust the quality of the product being sold. Paul Kafasis of One Foot Tsunami decided to test out the accuracy of Siri’s help if he were to use it exactly the way Samuel L. Jackson did in his commercial. The results? Well, just take a wild guess.

“If you’ve used Siri yourself, however, you know the disclaimer of “Sequences shortened” is more than an understatement,” Kafasis writes. “They’ve edited out the inevitable “No.…NO.…NO!” as well as significant quantities of exasperated sighs.”

One of Sam’s requests to Siri in his commercial was “Remind me in an hour to put the gazpacho on ice.” What did Siri perceive the sentence as?

  • Put the spot show on ice

  • Put the spots on Icenhour

  • Put tickets botulinum

How awkward! But not surprising considering Siri can’t even understand most common names when you ask her to call you as such. Why would she have a clue what gazpacho is? Kafasis states that perhaps he’s the one saying things weird, so he decided to use Sam’s voice himself to get Siri to listen in on the exact phrasing heard in the commercials. The results were even worse, as Siri understood Sam’s voice to be a request to call random contacts in Kafasis’ iPhone. Best of all, none of those contacts existed. Siri combined the first and last names of various contacts to conjure up someone whose moniker supposedly sound like the word “gazpacho.”

Identifying the problem as Siri misunderstanding the word “gazpacho,” Kafasis decides to say just that one word to the poor virtual assistant. Here’s what she thought he meant.

  • Just Bacchio

  • This Bogil

  • This Poncho

It’s odd that Siri knows what bacchio is but not gazpacho seeing as none of those words are rooted in English. How very uncultured of you, Siri! What’s the moral of this story, you ask? Well, there isn’t one. The experiment is purely for amusement and shows how much work Siri still needs to undergo to perfect her craft, and that commercials exaggerate everything. We can’t imagine how horribly Siri would interpret Zooey’s “Let’s get tomato soup delivered!” or “Is that rainnnn?” Better luck making that dinner date on your own, Sam.

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