Kaylie Moise, June 29, 2012
Analyst Gene Munster, of Piper Jaffray, took a closer look at Apple’s personal assistant, Siri, and found that she’s not quite reliable enough to replace text input with Google. In order to test Siri, Munster and his team gave the software 800 queries in a quiet room, without headphones, and 800 queries on a busy Minneapolis street, through Skull Candy microphone headphones.
Results of the test measured Siri’s comprehension on the street at 83 percent, with a 62 percent accuracy. In the quiet room, on the other hand, Siri performed slightly better. She comprehended 89 percent of queries and answers were 68 percent accurate.
When these results were compared with text input searches on Google, Siri paled in comparison. When asked the same questions as Siri, Google responded with an estimated 86 percent accuracy.
Munster explained to Apple Insider that he and his team believe that the most suitable substitute for Siri would be Google text input on the iPhone, rather than the Google voice search app.
Of the 83 percent of questions Siri did comprehend, 21 percent were answered inaccurately. According to Munster, some of the questions that proved challenging for Siri 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’s test also found that Siri relies heavily on Google for a lot of her answers — about 60 percent of answers in iOS 5. Munster predicts, however, that with the release of iOS 6 in the fall, Siri’s reliance on Google will diminish to 48 percent, as Apple replaces Google Maps with its own version and will also rely on Apple’s own sports scores.Follow @macgasm