I know I shouldn’t take this personally, but I think Siri isn’t paying attention to me when I use them to search with DuckDuckGo, the default search for my iPhone, and when I’m dictating text messages.
I refer to Siri as “them” because I get different voices with different voice functions. When I use the Home button, a male voice answers me. But when I search using DuckDuckGo, it’s a definite female voice. I don’t mind the different voices. I just I want them to understand my voice as they did when we first got together two years ago.
Siri, are you listening?
My Text Messages are Messed Up
As a writer, it was so lovely to have my iPhone “take diction,” as they said in the bad old days when female employees were, in fact, expected to do this. Until recently, this wasn’t a problem.
I’d already come to the point where I mostly text people, and that’s because Siri made it so easy. I’m terrible at typing on my phone, and Siri did a good job taking my diction and sending off a message. Since my iPhone takes such great photos (and this is a relatively straightforward SE), it’s fun to send the occasional photo to my texting pals without interrupting them at work. I can’t do this with voicemail.
I also try to avoid leaving a voicemail when I can. It’s been unseasonably chilly and damp here in the Phoenix area, and that’s given me something of a frog in my speaking voice.
Siri should understand this. Clearing my throat or stopping for a drink of water shouldn’t cause the words to start scrambling, which I swear I’ve seen happen.
Texting also appears to be the best way to interact with my son, whose rapid speech patterns are hard for me to follow.
Sadly, it seems those halcyon days of using Siri as my private secretary are over. A lot of my texts show this.
- “There are many hit people in this restaurant. I feel like I stick out!”
- I meant to say “hip.”
- “Add some delays.”
- “Whoops, meant to say had some delays.”
Some texts ignore tenses. “It certainly been overcast all day.” Isn’t AI supposed to clear this up?
Siri Can’t Even Get My Name Right!
This might be the worst insult from AI I’ve been using for over two years. Even my name is getting messed up.
This text is to the project manager handling a major kitchen restoration – the type that involves insurance:
Siri and Facebook Aren’t Getting Along, Either
Siri used to like Facebook but not lately.
My personal Facebook page, which I keep separate from my TimeStorm page, is the only place where I dare to dictate a thought, usually with an image I’ve just taken and want to share, like this one from a recent hailstorm:
It’s not a problem to edit these captions. I can do this on my business page, too, of course, but I like to get it right the first time.
I should also add that a hailstorm isn’t unknown in the Phoenix area, but they’re still unusual.
Siri Won’t Talk to Me About It
I have asked Siri if they are having problems understanding me. The consistent answer is, “I don’t understand the question.”
Is Siri gaslighting me? They’re definitely not talking about it. Even my MacBook’s Siri won’t talk about it.
My latest search suggested checking my DuckDuckGo settings on the iPhone to make sure Siri is enabled. They are, and for everything where I need them to work.
I’m really stumped. I don’t think my voice has changed other than the occasional froggy allergy voice I mentioned. I don’t smoke – anything – and I don’t really talk too much during the day since I’m self-employed and work from home. I don’t live alone, and I chat with my housemate and son, but it’s not like these are long conversations since we’re all working.
I’ll just have to be patient with Siri. Maybe the next iOS upgrade will fix their hearing!