Apple’s big mistake was marketing Siri as “Magical” says developer

30 May, 2012 by Karen Haslam
AAA
News

Apple had to release Siri as a beta product, but what they shouldn’t have done is marketed it as “magical”, says developer who went for the job.

Ash Furrow, who is lead iOS developer for photo app 500px, was interviewed by Apple earlier this year to join the Siri development team. He thinks that the problem with Siri is that Apple hasn’t managed users expectations. The company should have made it clear that the service was a beta that would get better over time. Instead the company hung advertising campaigns on Siri.

“They’ve done a pretty bad job of saying, “It’s going to be an improving thing that gets better over time so bear with us, it gets better.’ Instead, they kind of portrayed it as a magical product,” Furrow told Business Insider.

Furrow noted that Siri had to be launched before it was ready because it had to learn the different way that people speak, something that a couple dozen people in Cupertino can’t teach it.

Furrow explained: “Siri is a form of natural-language processing which takes a lot of conversation power. In order to cover the way that different people speak with all the different dialects, you can’t just have a couple dozen people in Cupertino test it and say it works well. You really need a wide variety of people. The idea is you are talking to your phone to tell it what to do. It’s really hard to test every possible combination. They needed the amount of people who are using it now to make it better because they need to train their algorithms to improve.”

Steve Jobs would have “lost his mind over Siri,” according to an ex Apple employee.

Siri is Apple’s voice-recognition ‘PA’ feature on iPhones that has come under fire recently in a series of lawsuits that claim Siri doesn’t work as advertised. Siri was tagged as beta when Apple launched the iPhone 4S and yet the company still picked it as the lead feature in its advertisements for the new phone.

 

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