Siri shows off her sense of humor

October 12, 2011

Early reviews of the iPhone 4S may have been uniformly great, bordering on glowing. But the best part of Wednesday’s coverage of Apple’s latest has been reviewers’ transcripts of their conversations with Siri — the personal assistant.

Initial reports revealed that Siri’s got answers for just about everything from pop culture queries to math problems. She’s even got an answer to the eternal question, “What is the meaning of life?” that pays homage to Monty Python. But she’s also shown she has a good sense of humor.

When Macworld’s Jason Snell sent a jab Siri’s way by asking her to “open the pod bay doors”, a reference to Stanley Kubrick’s classic “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the personal assistant responded, “We intelligent agents will never live that down, apparently.”

Snell also threw in another nerdy reference, this time to Douglas Adams’s classic “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” He asked Siri for the answer to “life, the universe and everything,” and she responded, correctly, “42.”

Over at The Loop, Jim Dalrymple expressed his love for Siri, causing her to admonish him, “I hope you don’t say that to those other mobile phones, Jim.” She’s also been known to tell, er, friendly iPhone owners that “All you need is love. And your iPhone.”

Siri has proved that she can think on her feet, as well. When Brian Chen at Wired told Siri, “I’m drunk”, the considerate app offered this advice: “I found a number of cabs fairly close to you.”

Friends, even digital ones, don’t let friends drive drunk.

Related stories:

Apple iPhone 4S review: It’s the software that’s a surprise

iOS 5 goes live, servers creaking

U.S. a nation outnumbered by gadgets

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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