June 16, 2012 - 14:34 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, known both for his devotion to and his unfiltered criticism of the company, told a reporter for the Times Union in Albany, N.Y., that he was an early fan of Siri, but the app has gotten worse since Apple bought it, Mashable reports.
Wozniak said he used Siri as an iPhone app. Siri initially won him over when it successfully answered the question, “What are the five largest lakes in California?” Then it correctly answered the question, “What are the prime numbers greater than 87?” (91). “It’s incredible,” said Wozniak. “It’s like it understands ‘greater than.’”
Those answers were based on Wolfram Alpha, the online service that bases its answers on structured data. However, since Apple bought Siri, the app is not directly linking to Wolfram Alpha, though, as Wozniak notes, you can access it by saying “Wolfram Alpha,” which he believes consumers shouldn’t have to do.
For whatever reason, the query about lakes in California calls up links to lakefront properties and the question about prime numbers yields results related to prime rib, Wozniak says. When asked why Siri got worse, Wozniak answered, “I’d like to know. I was very disappointed…It should be smart enough to look at the word you say and know what you’re asking and if you say ‘five largest,’ it should know ‘I can’t use a Google search, I have to use a Wolfram Alpha search.’”
Wozniak’s not the only former Apple employee to take issue with Siri. In a recent Fortune profile of Apple CEO Tim Cook, an unnamed “former Apple insider” (who could conceivably also be Wozniak) told the publication that “People are embarrassed by Siri. Steve [Jobs] would have lost his mind over Siri.”
Nevertheless, Wozniak wasn’t completely dismissive of Siri. He ended the interview by saying that voice-recognition systems like Siri will “get better and better.”