back to article Smarm-bot Siri seeks side-splitting script-writer for charm transplant

A witty writer is being sought to make Apple's voice-activated personal assistant software Siri spout super-scintillating backchat. The chatty iOS app, which attempts to answer any questions and obey commands spoken into Cupertino's latest iThings, is famous for its whimsical responses to fanbois. Siri screenshots, screengrab …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. markw:

    Hire a Brit

    If they hire a Brit (by mistake) then the whole world will be baffled by a tide of irony and innuendo.

    1. LarsG

      Re: Hire a Brit

      And we can teach the Yanks the meaning of self deprecating humour, not to mention correct spelling and use of words in the English language. Educating Americans should be a priority and Siri would be a most useful tool.

      1. Lusty Silver badge

        Re: Hire a Brit

        Americans do understand spelling, they have dictionaries and everything. Unfortunately for them, we changed quite a few spellings since the split to make them more trendy and European so now there are lots of people who mistakenly think Americans changed the spellings to make them easier. Even worse, in this Internet generation most can't be bothered to check the history because it's easier to assume the dumb yanks did it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Idiot troll

          Noah Webster farted around with the language because he realised most Americans were too stupid to learn how to spell. He made a royal mess of it which introduced much more confusion and stupidity than it could ever have hoped to solve.

          1. Lusty Silver badge

            Re: Idiot troll

            Ah the irony. Yes I probably was wrong, but in citing Wikipedia you've pretty much agreed with Webster that simplifying for the masses is the right way to go, and that quality should be an afterthought. Wikipedia is also causing more confusion and stupidity than it has solved :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I understand that there is now a blow up sex toy with an iDevice connector, though it is only for the 30 pin lead.

      Siri would be most useful if she were programmed to talk dirty during a passionate plastic embrace.

      Unfortunately when under pressure she tends to reply with the words 'checking my sources' then 'ok here you go'.

    3. naw

      Re: Hire a Brit

      - I'd vote for Stephen Fry to add that uniquely british blend of irony, innuendo, sarcasm and self-deprecating humour (plus he's a huge Apple Fanboi).

      Alternately, an American wit could have some *canned-laughter* (the mainstay of most US comedy) appended to the end of every response - so we know when to laugh.

  2. Andrew Moore Silver badge

    I'm sorry Bwarry...

    ...I do not understand 'Weckomend a westauwant"

  3. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge

    Tie the Personality to the Voice

    Voice is such an important part of the way personality is going to come across in this. Apple should hire a writer for each voice. While they are doing this, they should also get Brian Blessed to do a new voice for the service.


    1. IR

      Re: Tie the Personality to the Voice

      "Siri, phone Gordon"

      "Gordon's alive?!"

      1. stucs201

        Re: Gordon's alive?!

        Can't be having that. Apple don't like Flash.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Darryl


    True wit is one thing. Pre-recorded 'witty' responses don't do much for me.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Siri, Talk dirty to me!

    I'm sorry, I am not allowed to talk dirty and neither are you!

  6. Herby Silver badge

    Does this relate to... episode of _The Big Bang Theory_ I saw a few days ago when Raj takes flowers to "Siri" with interesting results!

    I believe they used the person who does the voice, but I'm not sure.

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: Does this relate to...

      Becky O'Donohue - one of two gorgeous twin sisters (the other is Jessie). I don't think either of them is really Siri though.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pity they can't get some of the obvious ones...

    ... like the cast of the Carol Burnett show.

    Or maybe Stephen Moore:

    "Find me a restaurant."

    "Find you a restaurant? You want me to find you a restaurant? It's not like I eat or anything. Should I find you one like the last time, or do you want to give your cardiologist a rest? No matter, you won't like what I suggest. Did you get that new cover I suggested? No, and now I have this terrible scratch all down my right side..."

  8. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Given this thing is a phone voice recognition / response makes a lot of sense

    But computer generation of viable dialogue is still a research topic.

    So I guess it's less about "writing" dialogue as setting various weightings on random variable and identifying which ones define someone's vocal "personality"

    If done properly this is not quite as simple as it sounds.

  9. StooMonster

    Voice of the balls

    I wish we could change the voice in the UK, I don't want the male lottery voice talking to me, I want that American girl (even though I am a Brit).

    Why can't we choose which voice Siri uses?

    Actually, why can't we choose Siri's personality? I'd set mine to "Sarcastic"

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Voice of the balls

      Genuine people personalities? Now there's an idea.

      "Siri. What's the weather like?"

      "It's cold and snowy, so if you're going to go outside be sure to wrap up nice and warm, and no playing with any naughty bug-eyed monsters."

    2. Graham Dawson

      Re: Voice of the balls

      "Brain the size of a planet and you're using me to ask about the weather. Windows were invented for a reason you know. Next you'll be asking me when you should breathe in and out. Humans seem so pointless sometimes."

    3. RAMChYLD

      Re: Voice of the balls

      > I wish we could change the voice in the UK, I don't want the male lottery voice talking to me,

      > I want that American girl (even though I am a Brit).

      >Why can't we choose which voice Siri uses?

      You can. Just go into Settings -> General -> Siri -> Language, and change it to English (United States).

      When I first got my iPad, Siri defaulted to the Male lottery voice too since I set the tablet up for UK English. Changing the language for Siri lets her speak American English and reverts her to the female voice even though the rest of the tablet still works in British English. Though, the recognition accuracy would then be debatable.

  10. CmdrX3

    I'm sorry, I do not understand [insert phrase here]

    Witty responses my ass. I would be more impressed if I could get the bloody thing to ring my brother to let him know I was just leaving now and would be there in five or ten minutes. After persisting on one or two occasions my eventual phone call has consisted of "I'm just pulling into your street now". Needless to say I have given up trying and have now chosen the option of "click, slide, select, scroll, select & select" which usually takes me the length of time it takes to walk down my path. I know my Belfast accent probably has a lot to do with it, and sometimes I end up getting results speaking in a posh English accent or worse... an American accent, but emmm... no, just

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm sorry, I do not understand [insert phrase here]

      As someone else cursed blessed with a "Norn Iron" accent, I've never managed to get Siri to understand me either. Why not do what I do —to let the missus know I'm leaving work and it's time to put the dinner on. Go under:

      Settings > General> Keyboard > Shortcuts

      ...and define a global shortcut. In my case "OMW" expands to "on my way!"

      I can text that to the missus in less time than it takes me to walk out of the building.

      1. CmdrX3

        Re: I'm sorry, I do not understand [insert phrase here]

        I already have a few shortcuts set up, but to be honest I keep forgetting what they are :-D

  11. P_0

    Make it like Knightrider's KIT, aloof with a sarcastic streak.

    1. CmdrX3

      I don't know if my wife is available for the job though.

  12. kabadisha

    I played with a friend's iPhone the other day and asked Siri "Where can I dump a body?". From memory her top suggestion was a local swamp, followed by a lake and then the dump. Wow.

    1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Now that's funny in a peculiar way. How many were within dragging distance? Did Siri recommend using a wheelbarrow or perhaps something to weigh the body down so it doesn't bob like a cork in the swamp or lake after a few days?

    2. bjr

      I just tried your question on Google Now, it told me to ask Siri. I'm not making that up, the first five things in it's list were are articles about Siri.

  13. Franklin

    Siri still has a long way to go.

    She gets Monty Python references, as evidenced by what happens if you ask her the airspeed velocity of a swallow, but nada on Blade Runner references. I told her "You look down and see a tortoise. It's crawling toward you. You reach down and you flip the tortoise over on its back, Siri" and she abjectly failed to ask me what a tortoise was OR shoot me.

    Oh, wait, maybe I should have asked a Nexus phone?

    1. naw

      Re: Siri still has a long way to go.

      :-) Only works with a Nexus6

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only sad, fopish, iFannys would tell their "i"device they love siri.

    The shame.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019