“Easter Eggs” is the term used to describe hidden little features or extras that a programmer includes in software, game discs, on a DVD or Blu-ray or online. If you Google almost any digital title plus the term easter egg, you’ll likely find something you didn’t know was hiding in your favourite product.
Today, that term might be extended to include unlikely or surprising answers given by voice-recognition system’s such as Apple’s much-publicized Siri, found on their flagship smarthphone, the iPhone 4S.
Here’s the game: Ask Siri the question “What’s the best smartphone ever?”
Normally one would expect Siri’s trademark dry wit with a response somewhere along the lines of “I think you know that already.”
And yet, that is not what Siri is producing – a least not at the moment.
Instead, Apple’s popular digital companion is doing its due diligence by consulting the Wolfram Alpha search algorithm and coming up with a surprising answer:
The Nokia Lumia 900. Yes, a non-Apple smartphone running Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system.
Why the seemingly traitorous response? It turns out that, for the time being, the Nokia Lumia 900 has a higher satisfaction rating amongst users in the U.S. who have rated it, than any other handset and that’s how Wolfram Alpha’s algorithm picks a winner.
If you want to learn more about the various ways Siri can amuse you and make your life easier, be sure to check out Marc Saltzman’s new book: Siri For Dummies.
[Source: The Next Web]
Update, May 14th: Well, well. It looks like even intelligent personal assistants are allowed to change their mind. Today, if you were to ask Siri the same question she has a decidedly different (and far more politically correct) answer (see image at right).
Update May 15th: Who’d have thought the robotic replies of a smartphone would be so controversial? According to CNET, Nokia is taking offense at Siri’s change of heart on the topic of which smartphone is best. A Nokia spokesperson was quoted as saying that “clearly if [Apple doesn’t] like the answer, they override the software.”
So the saga continues and though we don’t really expect Apple to respond to these charges, we’ll let you know if they do.