Saturday, 29 October 2016

A bit leery of Siri

Younger daughter has been preparing for a voice competition this month, so we've been making weekly trips to practise with her accompanist, who lives in a neighbourhood that is unfamiliar to us. During the first forty-five minute practice session, I decided to make myself scarce, and wandering rather aimlessly through the strange grey streets, decided to try and find a coffee shop.

"Siri" has been popping up on my phone unsummoned ever since my iPhone updated itself a few weeks ago - shades of the robot invasion. When she does, she immediately asks: "What can I help you with?" and, because I've only had an iPhone for a few months, follows up with a brisk "Go ahead, I'm listening" while I struggle to master the right combination of taps to turn her off and find what I was actually looking for.

One time, I snapped, "I don't need you now, Siri!" and was rewarded with a tart "That seems clear!". It's probably the British accent I've given her.

This morning, I was fumbling for a map, and when Siri appeared, I decided what-the-heck: "I need to find a coffee shop close by, Siri."

"Here's what I found," she replied instantly, providing the name, a map, and the time it would take me to walk there.

It was a charming tea shop, actually, which also serves coffee, pancakes, and sandwiches, while playing jazz recordings -- in short, the ideal place to bring younger daughter.

I feel so modern. And a little afraid.

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