Friday, October 14, 2011


Last night, I upgraded my iPhone 3GS to iOS5. The enhancements from the previous version is more or less incremental. I would say that I can live without them, but they should improve my user experience as time goes. So far, I found the notification center to be nice and like the enhancement camera/photo functions (using the volume button to take pics, the crop/photo enhancement, and the album organization options). I may not need iCloud, but will give a try later tonight.

For other smaller polishes of functions here and there, I'm not gonna talk about them here as they are quite nicely presented in or other great sites like What I wanna talk about is a function that I don't have the chance to play with but it is certainly gaining buzz in the net as we speak - Siri, a personal secretary function with AI from a company acquired by Apple last year.

As presented in Apple's latest keynote, Siri can answer plain English questions from its iPhone owner in plain English. It should be a very useful tool to visually-impaired people, and people always on the go. So far, I don't think there is any dark side of this app being reported yet. On the contrary, I've started to find many funny responses from pioneer users of Siri who can get a hand on iPhone 4S in advance. Check this, this and this sites out. Simply based on my imagination, I would say that Siri will be viewed by some 'loners' as their virtual companion to talk to. Cuz, what loners need are attention and someone to talk to. Siri can say 'No' to questioner, but it has to answer that. Thus, I can imagine a loner would talk to Siri all the time in spite of rejections from Siri, the loner would still love it, at least his/her questions come with responses. Besides loners, most regular users can't help but would get a laugh with Siri's response.

On the other hand, come to think of it, Siri kinda reminds me of 'Hal', the computer with AI in the movie of '2001: Space Odyssey'. Damn! Steve Jobs is such a genius and wise enough to incorporate some kinds of AI in iPhone. I guess he must be smiling in Heaven if he knows what users will respond to Siri and be creative with this app down the road.

I'm sure this app will be viewed as a killer app for iPhone very soon and will be continuously enhanced. The potential of Siri is limitless. Just imagine, a robber with GPS turn on on his iPhone, while chasing by cops, he asked his Siri, 'Where should I go so that the cop can't find me?'. I doubt the current version of Siri can really help the robber. However, imagine the future Siri gives the robber a map and tells him where to go. Then, the cops ask the question 'Where would Siri tell the guy that I'm chasing to go while trying to loose us on the track?' Would the cop's Siri tell him where would the robber's Siri instruct?? That would be a quite interest scenario.

Also, would users be able to 'personalize' their own Siri? I think Apple may 'pretend' to let users to do that, but actually Siri is a master of its own. I'm not saying Siri will become the 'Skynet' in Terminators or the 'Machine' in Matrix, but I can't help but visualizing the relationship between users and Siri will some day make a switch from 'Masters to Servant' to 'Servants to Master'. Why I am saying that is because we are all getting lazy to do things ourselves, and becoming more dependent on machines/AI. Currently, we are going from searching the weather info from a weather app to asking Siri what the weather is. What would be next? Someday, we may be toying by the machine and become a slave of it. It is certainly a possibility.

Anyway, that's just some thoughts about this amazing app from Apple. Whether what I said will come true or not down the road, we will see.....


zero said...

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Joel said...

thanks Zero!