Siri vs. Three-year-old

**This post is going to reinforce that idea some of you have mentioned, about kids living very different lives from back in the day. Yes, it’s true – technology has changed childhood a lot. But I’d like to state for the record that E (like most kids) digs in the dirt and throws rocks in the river and collects sticks with gusto as well… so all is not lost.**


If you haven’t had a chat with Siri, the artificially intelligent broad who lives in our iDevices (and other places too, I’m sure)… it’s probably just as well. She doesn’t seem that smart.

E just discovered her. When I indicated that he could talk to that little purple microphone icon, he had no hesitation.

He was playing Train Yard at the time, and we were having some trouble with one of the puzzles. (Mummy is not the best at this game, but she tries hard.)

train yard golem
You have to get trains to their stations. Not as simple as it sounds.

If Siri doesn’t understand something, she usually just says something like,

“Let me think. I found this…” OR

“I didn’t find any appointments,” OR

“I don’t understand, but I could search the Web for it.”

E was trying to get help solving his puzzle, so he was saying things like, “How do I solve this puzzle?” and, for some reason, “I prepare to solve this puzzle!”

Siri’s response: “I don’t know who your mother is… In fact I don’t know who you are.”

Loyally, he tried to tell her, “It’s MAMA!”

Her rejoinder: “I’ve found four locations matching Granada, but they are pretty far from Toronto.”

When he said, “I promise to solve this puzzle!” it seemed kind of snarky of her to reply, “I suppose you can’t.”

So we left her to her own devices for a while. (Ha ha.)

The next time we met up with Siri, we realized she might need some more answerable questions, or at least ones with fewer syllables, so we prompted E a few times.

E: I, um…

Siri: I don’t know what that means. If you like, I can search the web for “eye”.

E: How are you?

Siri: I am well.

E: Are you hungry?

Siri: We were talking about you. Not me.

(Except she made it sound like “We were talking about you,”, as in behind your back – in fact, her tone was almost menacing.)

E: How old are you?

Siri (Not really sounding okay, more melancholy): I’m okay if you’re okay.

E: How old are you?

Siri (evading the question again): Excellent.

E: Where are you?

Siri: Here. (Huh. Cheeky.)

E: Where am I?

Siri: Here’s Lansing. (Get it? MI??)

E: How many raisins do I have?

Siri (not glad at all): I’m glad to be alive. (And not alive at all, either.)

E: I don’t understand you!

Siri: “Sigh.” (See? Melancholy. We decided to cheer her up.)

E: I love you.

Siri: All you need is love. And your iPad.

E (unprompted): I love my iPad.

Siri: Do you?

E: Yes.

Siri: I thought so.

Sadly, I think Siri might have won that round.


kid playing on the ipad
Good thing he’s cute. And alive, and glad to be.



12 thoughts on “Siri vs. Three-year-old

  1. Mama says:

    Oh, my! I laughed and laughed! What clever programmers should be working toward is someone (fabricated) SMART for kids like E (well, there aren’t any other kids like E, but I mean really bright kids with lots of tech know-how) to relate to on their devices.

  2. Auntie CL says:

    maybe she should be renamed “Snipi”
    she doesn’t sound at all smart to me, though willing to be rude enough to out-evade, if not out-smart a 3-year-old.
    he’s better off chatting with real folks…

    • dilovelyadmin says:

      Auntie, you’re absolutely right, he should be chatting with real folks. And to tell you the truth, he didn’t have much patience for Siri. We encouraged it to see what would happen, but I don’t think he’s really interested… and why should he be?

  3. emerge says:

    We should see if we can find Dr Sbaitso and hook them up. (like, you could literally do that if you’re electric.) He doesn’t talk about loving your ipad (although maybe he should), but he does say “Just now you were talking about sexy stuffs.”

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