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Home / Opinion / Siri – woman, man or personal assistant?

Siri – woman, man or personal assistant?


This ‘n’ That by Nicky De Lange

It was just over two years ago that I made the big leap into the terrifying world of technology. I bought an iPhone. The 5s, to be exact.
I did it because College of the Mainland offered a non-credit course for seniors (50-something and older). I got a telephone call from COM a few days later saying the class was filled. When I asked about a waiting list, I was informed that there were 58 people on that list.
Luckily for me, the college found an another instructor and opened two more class sections. I made it! I quickly ran out and purchased an iPhone and took a really good course. It was several weeks long and only cost $15.  You just can’t beat a deal like that.
And that brings me to today’s topic: Siri. Who or what is Siri? It’s your voice-activated personal digital assistant. It came into cell phone history on the iPhone 4s and has continued through the 5, 6, and & 7 as well. If there’s an 8 series, I haven’t heard about it but I’m sure one is in the works.
Siri can do so much more than you’d expect. You just push the home button and ask her/him whatever you want to know.
I say her/him because the original voice of Siri was a woman, Susan Bennett. But in my iPhone class I learned that you could change the voice to that of a male. In my early struggles learning to operate my phone, I found myself asking Siri a lot of questions and getting a bunch of not-so-helpful answers. Many of the problems were because of my lack of familiarity with how to phrase my questions so Siri understood me.
After a few weeks of getting really cranky when trying to use Siri, I learned in class that you can change Siri’s voice to that of a male. I got that done faster than you could believe possible. I was so fed up with the female Siri that I was highly motivated.
Here’s how to do it. Launch “Settings” and tap on “General.” Tap on “Siri” & choose. You’ll find “Siri Voice”. Tap and the next screen will let you choose  both accent and gender. Tap your choices here and you can turn Siri from “that woman” who drove me crazy to James Bond or Crocodile Dundee. Knock yourself out!
What can you do to have fun on Siri? Well, there are all sorts of questions that will elicit funny or odd answers from him. Here are a few to try out:
Beam me up. (Siri’s reply: Stand still.)
Are you real? (Siri’s reply: Ask Siri.)
What is your favorite color? (My favorite color is .  . . well, I don’t know how to say it in your language. It’s sort of greenish, but with more dimensions.)
What do you look like? (Let’s just say . . . multidimensional.)
What’s new? (Just watching the leaves fall. I’m betting on that big red one.)
And finally, my favorite: How much wood  can a woodchuck chuck?  The answer, according to Siri, is “None. A ‘woodchuck’   is actually a groundhog, so it would probably just predict six more weeks of winter.”
Siri – you gotta love him!

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