Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lawsuit: Apple’s Siri Advertising “Misleading & Deceptive”

Lawsuit: Apple’s Siri Advertising “Misleading & Deceptive”, article.
From a purely technical perspective, most of the suit’s complaints could be understandably forgiven due to Siri’s continued status as a beta service that is a work-in-progress. Mr. Fazio claims, however, that Apple crossed the line when it began to advertise the incomplete Siri as a major reason to purchase the iPhone 4S and that such a campaign for a service that is known by Apple to be incomplete amounts to misleading and deceptive advertising. 

Well, I can't say I disagree with that. For many, including me, Siri is a very embryonic technology, and to present it as a miracle of artificial intelligence crosses a line, and upgrading to iPhone 4S is not an insignificant investment for most people to base on the shining hope of such technology. I myself may well not have bought it if the only differences had been a slightly better camera and processor, the iPhone 4 worked fine for me.

From the ad: "Text my wife I'll be thirty minutes late"... does that really work for anybody, even native English speakers?

Bigger article about the disappointments of Siri.
A long time ago, I made a compact with Apple. "You can control my entire technological life, from my computer to my phone to my stereo. I'll pay premium prices. I'll dive into your product ecosystem, and buy books and music and movies and apps from you. Even though they won't work on devices made by anybody else."


Stephen A said...

Jobs corollary to Clarke's Third Law:

Any sufficiently advanced technology can be sold as magic.

Apple sells magic items. Apple users want a genie. The problem is that AI is really hard and Siri isn't passing the Turing test.

The Android mindset is tech, your phone is a tool which is an extension of yourself. While the right tools help, the skill of the user is also critical. A true craftsman often uses a "harder to use" tool to achieve more control. For example, while automatic camera controls are wonderful up to a point, the capacity to revert to manual controls is often essential for a pro.

Linux is the other end of the spectrum. You don't get magic items, you have to go to 7 years of Hogwarts. :)

I can call spirits from the vasty deep.

Why, so can I, or so can any man;
But will they come when you do call for them?

Anonymous said...

If memory serves, this isn't the first time that this has happened.

Rewind twenty (almost) years to 1993 and you might recall the Apple Newton, which whilst visionary had a handwriting recognition system that basically didn't work to a usable degree.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Yeap, it was even made fun of in Doonesbury.