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Apple Siri gets ‘D’ rating for accuracy

Apple’s Siri voice assistant was one of their key release features when the last iPhone was released, however it would appear that independent analysis has proven that it is not yet a reliable enough search engine tool to replace text input with Google.

Gene Munster at Piper Jaffray conducted the tests. His team gave the software 800 queries in a quiet room, with no headphones, and 800 queries on a busy Minneapolis street through Skull Candy microphone headphones.

Siri comprehension was measured on the street at 83 percent, with accuracy rated at 62 percent. In a quiet room, the software tool fared better, achieving 89 percent of queries and accurately answering 68 percent of answers.

Munster spoke to AppleInsider and said “We believe the most likely substitute for Siri is Google text input on the iPhone, not the Google voice search app.”

Of the 83 percent of queries that Siri could comprehend, only 21 percent were answered inaccurately.  Some of the questions which caused problems were:

  • “What team does Peyton Manning play for?” Siri would respond with the answer to the previous query.
  • “Where is Elvis buried?” Siri looked for a person named “Elvis Buried.”
  • “Where am I?” Sometimes a map pin would be dropped in the wrong place.
  • “When did the movie Cinderella come out?” Siri would attempt to find current theater movie times via Yelp.
  • “How do I get from Boston to New York?” Siri responded: “I can only give directions from your current location. I can’t give you directions to a place you are not in.”

Munster gave Google an A+ for comprehension and B+ for accuracy. He scored Siri with a B for comprehension and a D for accuracy.

On a more positive note, he added “While Siri is two-plus years behind Google today, we are optimistic about its future,” Munster wrote. “With the iOS 6 release in the fall, we expect Siri to improve meaningfully while reducing its reliance on Google.”

Kitguru says: A long way to go yet for the Apple assistant.

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