All joking aside, or all joking inside?
The doghousediaries comic has a stroke of brilliance in having Siri refer to Steve Jobs as God; though I’d say he isn’t that far off because Apple in a stroke of god-like brillance took a software application - Siri - and made what could have been a dry, rote, voice-to-text communication assistant and instead added a spark of life to it by integrating humor.
I have a lurking suspicion that if Gates or Google had been first to create something like Siri it would have been just like a GPS mixed with SAM (disregard how awesome this SAM example is.. that was crowdsourced).
Leave it to the almighty foresight of Jobs to make some of the biggest forays into AI just by making us humans - the user - careful how we interact with Siri because we may not always get the answer we are searching for - especially if we mess with Siri (her?).
The Creators in their great wisdom know that humor is the way to bridge all controversy and apprehension. Done incorrectly and Siri is cheesy and would therefore suck - regardless of actual personal assistant qualities (pretty much how it would work for a real life assistant).
Glimpses were first seen when this WIRED article discovered some hilarious Easter eggs within Siri. And we thought “Wow! that’s pretty cool the engineers programmed in some hilarious pop culture/science fiction Easter Eggs.” References to 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy garnering ironic responses of “Awesome! I love technology!”
But we are human. We love novel things, especially when they are the beautiful Christmas morning wrapping paper around an incredible piece of technology.
But, as more and more ‘Easter Eggs’ were revealed with multiple responses to the same questions cataloged in this at times hilarious tumblr, SHIT THAT SIRI SAYS, maybe these aren’t accidental and there is no way The Creators could program this many hilarious responses.
So this began the little voice in our ears that whispered: is Siri a living breathing self-thinking automaton slaved to our personal whims of finding Donuts and movie showtimes?
Well, yes and no. It is still a piece of technology slaved to the constraints of our iPhones and iPads (for now) but it is connected to an ever increasing data network and with things being pushed more and more to the Cloud (iCloud) things are uncomfortably approaching Skynet level.
And when the Terminators are finally overpowering the last shreds of humanity we can look back on Siri the great-great-great-grandmother to the T-1000 about to crush our skulls and see that the maniacal grinning skull above us is laughing at the same joke that she had us laughing to back in 2011.
Is it really a good thing that we are relying more and more on technology?
This is the key, and any would-be-pundits attempting to push this point to anyone who would potentially listen is too busy laughing a the Shit Siri is saying for them to hear. This is the Genius of Jobs; smoothly integrating a paradigm shifting piece of technology into society by making it funny. Yeah T-1000 you are allowed to laugh.
Humor was the trojan-horse that slipped past all the techno-aversion that exists today. Everyday more and more people freak out over the privacy settings being altered on Facebook but the more encompassing and far-reaching piece of technology that deserves some scrutiny sidled by with a wink and a shimmy.
There is probably some societal explanation for this stemming from Huxley and infotainment but SIRI keeps returning me Cosby show clips.