Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has revealed how Siri earned the thumbs-down the day it was bought by the company he helped build. After proclaiming the voice-controlled personal assistant to be the future, Woz reveals it was ruined when it turned up on the iPhone 4S.
The 61-year-old blasted Siri while visiting Woz, a horse named after him at Peaceful Acres horse rescue farm in Pattersonville, New York.
A contribution from Woz (the human) saved Woz (the horse) a day before he was due to take a trip to the slaughterhouse. The horse, that is.
Wozniak was shocked by how clever Siri was when he first encountered it, before Apple bought the technology. He says he was "telling everyone this was the future: speaking things in normal ways, feeling like you're talking to a human". The quality of the results prompted him to describe Siri as "the greatest program".
But the day Apple bought Siri, the app earned a massive thumbs-down from Woz, with an influx of clutter leaving him "very disappointed".
He cites examples of asking Siri about the Great Lakes, which previously brought up a wealth of useful information from Wolfram Alpha -- but after Apple took over, the same request returned adverts for lakefront property. Asking Siri about prime numbers previously blew Woz's mind with clever answers, but now the answers are cluttered up with places you can get prime rib and other extraneous results.
Despite his disappointment with Siri, Woz still thinks it's the future. He reckons voice control will get better at working out sentences and phrases to decipher what a human really means when asking a question, even coming to understand mistakes and slips of the tongue.
It's not the first time Woz has taken a bite out of Apple, admitting in previous years that Windows Phone is more beautiful than iOS.
Apple's robo-butler will get more useful in the UK after the upgrade to iOS 6, it was revealed earlier this week. The automated assistant will finally be able to tell you where your nearest pub is, after Apple signed a worldwide deal with user reviews company Yelp.
Are you disappointed with Siri? Is voice control really the future? And what kind of animal would you like named after you? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.
Image: Times Union