It’s no secret that Apple’s Siri personal voice assistant leaves much to be desired. But exactly how much, has been revealed by an industry analyst who gave the software a ‘grade D’ for accuracy.
Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray put the app through its paces by asking it 1,600 questions – divided in half by quiet and noisy environments. It understood 83 per cent of the queries in a loud setting and 89 per cent in a quiet location.
Where it failed to produce the goods is accuracy of results, managing to give correct answers only 62 per cent in a busy street and 68 per cent in a quiet room.
By comparison, Google’s Voice Search returned the required answers 86 per cent of the time, earning a B+ for accuracy.
"In order to become a viable mobile search alternative Siri must match or surpass Google's accuracy of B+ and move from a grade D to a B or higher," Munster told business magazine Fortune.
"We expect Siri to improve meaningfully while reducing its reliance on Google from 60 per cent to 48 per cent."
The novel but thoroughly excoriated service has attracted scathing criticism for its inability to understand simple phrases. A former Apple employee dubbed it an ‘embarassment’, adding that Steve Jobs would have “lost his mind” if he were alive.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, meanwhile, has said that the service was the “greatest program” he’d used before the Cupertino-based giant bought and turned it into “poo-poo”.
We can’t disagree too much with those sentiments. In my experience at least, Siri has been less than helpful and a source of frustration. Although Apple has finally announced UK support for local searches, unless accuracy is improved too, it will be considered a failure by most.
Do you have any lingering gripes about Siri? Vent your feelings in the comments section below.