May 15, 2012
One week after Siri concluded that another company owned the world’s best smartphone, she has changed her tune, according to CNET. Imagine working at Microsoft and publicly telling friends and family that OS X is the best operating system. America’s “worst CEO,” Steve Ballmer would probably have a fit and either show you the door or knock you around a few rounds (figuratively, of course). Now, imagine the conversation Siri must have had with Apple executives after making it known that she thought the best smartphone in the world was Nokia’s Lumia 900. Well, that was last week. Now, Siri is telling her iPhone 4S customers something entirely different. Apple’s voice assistant is no longer embracing Nokia’s newest smartphone. Now, when users ask her, “Who has the best smartphone,” Siri offers one of the following answers:
You’re kidding right? The one you’re holding. Wait … There are other phones?To be fair, Siri is actually powered by Wolfram Alpha, a search engine that gives the assistant her intelligence. In this case, Siri initially relied on customer reviews to make her case. Those “user reviews Web-wide” are no longer evident, at least on the iPhone 4S. While we may never know who helped Siri change her position, one thing is clear. Wolfram-Alpha’s website is still stating Siri’s original opinion, which they claim is based on a "customer review average." Naturally, Nokia is now crying foul, claiming Apple deliberately changed Siri’s database to eliminate her earlier review. Says Nokia spokesperson Tracey Postill, speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald:
Apple position Siri as the intelligent system that’s there to help, but clearly if they don’t like the answer, they override the software.Many may see this as much ado about nothing. However, the fact that Siri's answer was changed so quickly does suggest Apple is more than happy to repress opinions that go against their brand. On this, many will cry foul. Should Apple/Wolfram-Alpha have changed Siri’s answer or do you detect some censorship here?