Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Siri no hablo ingles

Just got my iPhone 4S. In brief testing of Siri, my scepticism has not been disproven yet. So far it has understood less than one in five of commands I tried, and twice it started to dial a phone number when I had not asked for it. (Once I'd asked for location and once I was trying to begin an email.)

Like with the grayness of e-ink backgrounds, I am beginning to suspect it is only a problem for me, and hardly anybody else, since I haven't been able to get any voice operating or dictation system to work well for me in the past. It's irritating for me, but bully for others if it works for them.

Timo found this one, which is not so far from my experiences:

OK, this is weird. When I finally found the Siri settings (tucked in under "general"), it turned out that the durn thing was turned off by default! Seems I had the old "voice control" (which I'd never used.)  Now that I've turned it on, things may be different.
To compound matters, location control was *also* turned off for Siri by default (though I had it turned on for other services), and wifi was turned off by default, I'd have thought it would ask me to turn it on.

"Send an email to Judith"
"... sending email to Judith... Sorry, something is wrong, I can't do that." 
"What is wrong?"
"Wrong: noun: that which is contrary to the principles of justice or law." 

... very helpful.


Timo Lehtinen said...

By now there are quite a few Siri demos on YouTube. She seems to be surprisingly understanding of different accents. But there are some people whose accent seem to be problematic. For example this guy is already legendary in that regard.

What a bummer if it doesn't work for you. Did you try switching between merkan and Queen's English?

Timo Lehtinen said...

I understand there's also an Aussie setting. Try that! :-))

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Yes, my experiences are much like his!!

I haven't found the settings yet. They are not in the ordinary setting app.

TC [Girl] said...

Is there a way to "train" it to your voice? I've had to do that w/my Android. Just a thought.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Not that I've heard about.
But I haven't really gone much into it.

Not sure what I'd use it for. Maybe writing, if I can get dictation to work well.

TC [Girl] said...

Yeah...dictation would be good. It's also nice if you're trying to locate a phone number or place, when you're on a walk (don't have to stop and key in; "call [so and so]," etc.). Also good for returning responses, while you're "out and about," as well. I know how you like to keep up on prompt e-mail and blog responses! :-D Would also just be interesting, in general, to see if there is, FINALLY, something that might work for you! Good luck!

Marcelo Metayer said...

Hey Eolake, don't know how much Spanish you can read, but check out this article: El asistente de voz del iPhone no reconoce el ingl├ęs hablado por hispanos (iPhone voice assistant doesn't recognize English spoken by hispanic people), what is a big miss in the US.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Thanks, Marcelo.
(Though I have no schooling in Spanish.)

Well, it's becoming more and more clear (Thanks guys) that an accent is a big problem for dictation- or voice-command software.
That's a big challenge, because the number of people speaking a second language is huge.