If anyone with 4S has some time, I'd like to know how Siri responds to:
* Map from here to the nearest gas station
* Map from here to the nearest gas station, avoid highways
* Turn screen darker (or lower brightness)
* Redial (last called number)
* Turn off 3G when near home
* Turn off Wifi when near work
* Turn vibrate mode on when near work
* Turn vibrate mode off after 6pm
* Repeat song (when iPod is playing)
* Open HackerNews (saved as bookmark)
* Delete Safari cookies
* Update AppStore apps
* Which actor plays Ryan in The Office?
* Alert me when battery has less than half charge
I don't have a 4S, but some of these screenshots already reveal some stunning limitations. For example "take a photo" doesn't seem to work (on a mobile phone, wtf?) and the proper response to "I think I just killed someone" should not be "oh did you?" but something more along the lines of "do you want me to call an ambulance".
On a side note, I believe Apple is making a fundamental mistake with Siri in not communicating its limitations more clearly (or at all). Sure, the marketing department probably wants to make announcements to the effect of "oh, this baby can do anything" but soon customers will find out that's not the case and be thoroughly disappointed after the novelty factor wears off. Siri is a prime example of this shortsighted marketing move because its capabilities are murky and unknown by nature.
Putting out a clear bullet list of things it can do (like: make cal entries, notify, simple if-then logic, GPS data, Google lookup) would work much better in the long run.
The only real limitation you bring up is not being able to take a photo (I'd add reading email as well, not just texts). But there's no reason Siri has to maintain its current capabilities.
Have you read reviews of people struggling with limitations? Also, Siri offers a list of suggested tasks it can perform from the iPhone itself, based on the videos I've seen.
"Siri, on the other hand, feels limitless. It’s fuzzy, and fuzzy on purpose. There’s no way to tell what will work and what won’t. You must explore. I found it extremely fun to explore Siri — primarily because so many of the things I tried actually worked." -Daring Fireball
Even if Gruber is an Apple fanboy, I would suspect people to react more like him than you.
I would very much like to know this, too. As much as I see the value of being able to ask wolfram alpha stuff, my first thought when I saw the Siri presentation was, if "Turn Airplane/Silent Mode (Wifi,3G,...) on/off!" works. That would add a lot of value to it, as that would make the phone really "hands free". Furthermore I would not have to remember the insane amount of dialogs one sometimes has to go through, just to reach a certain setting (which is probably why there are so many apps that do nothing but turn features/settings on and off).
Does the choice of being unable to call 911 seem strange to anyone else? I think the risk of occasional accidental calls  is nothing compared to emergency situations where the user is too panicked to operate the touchscreen, or blind, or [insert your own edge case here]. Or is this solely a legal restriction on emergency services?
 I once somehow butt-dialed 911 on my old dumbphone, which was embarrassing and terrifying. I awkwardly apologized and hung up, and there were no repercussions.
Don't know if it's like this everywhere, but here if you dial 911 they are obligated to dispatch a police officer to your location. Even if you say "sorry I meant to call 411" or whatever, or just hang up, I guess they think you might be in a situation where you somehow were able to get to the phone and call 911 but then can't talk about the emergency.
Here in Australia, I recently was trying to get in touch with the non-emergency police number (I had seen 2 kids, one maybe 2 years old, the other 4 at most, playing alone, on the median strip of a dual carriageway road, with no one else in sight), via directory assist, but was redirected to 000 (Our emergency number), so I hung up, to try and get the direct number again. Within 5 seconds I was called back by emergency services, and asked to explain in detail what had happened, why I had hung up, and what the situation was.
The operator told me that, typically, they treat people hanging up at any stage during a 000 call extremely seriously, and will follow up, and will usually send officers out if the call is from a land line and they have an address, even if the caller says no officer is needed.
>  I once somehow butt-dialed 911 on my old dumbphone, which was embarrassing and terrifying. I awkwardly apologized and hung up, and there were no repercussions.
I used to know someone who worked as an emergency dispatcher in Finland. By her reckoning, these days at least two thirds of their calls are "butt-dialed". This might be caused by a law that said that for phones sold in Finland that have keypads, the screen lock must not stop you from dialing 112.
I got Dr. Sbaitso with my Creative sound card when I was little. I remember asking him all these questions about sex, then printing out the conversation. Then I panicked, thinking my parents would see it, and tore the papers up and hid them in our basement. Good times.
it all happens on the servers, so there's no end to Siri's incremental 'intelligence'.
This is why I'm amused, but not amazed. Siri presumably has an actual team of ghostwriters cranking out amusing answers to FAQs.
And I can't wait for someone who has read The Diamond Age to concoct a version of Siri in which the responses are read aloud by actual human actors, who are paid Mechanical-Turk style, rather than the synthesized voice. Though the effect might actually be ugly: the human intonation will come through, but probably too well, such that every few responses "Siri's" personality seems to change.
I think it’s a great move on the creators’ part. Building silly stuff like that into Siri creates massive amounts of goodwill. That will make it much harder to really hate Siri when it – inevitably – screws up sometimes.
I never tried it this extensively, but it would tell jokes and such, certainly. I once tried "how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?" and it gave me a list of local lumberyards.
If you click 'assuming it's a phrase', Wolfram says: "A strong positive emotion of regard and affection, of the kind humans sometimes express towards one another and computational knowledge engines express towards the internet."
Anyone knows if Siri can keep a todo list alongside with the calendar? That would be great, actually. "Siri, what's the three most important things I need to do today?"
Also, something I really need assistance with is to be aware of the time it will take me to get to the appointments I have. I always leave my office just a few minutes before I need to be somewhere, no matter if it's within walking distance or fifteen minutes by car. I'm like an infant in this regard. "Siri, let me know when I need to leave for my two o'clock appointment" would be great if it worked.
Thanks, great! Is the semantics of a reminder and a todo the same, though? Perhaps it is. A to do list is a list of stuff you want to do at some point and mark as completed as you go along. You can probably emulate this with reminders, right?
This stuff is pretty immature, and indicative of it being something Apple didn't build internally. It makes Siri seem gimmicky and highlights the programmed nature of the responses (instead of being more AI-like, as I had hoped).
These answers serve no purpose, except for one's buddies to go "heh heh watch what happens when I tell it I'm drunk"
Just an observation I've made, but isn't this almost identical to what WolframAlpha's goals are? With the exception of handling your own personal data, they both seem to work in the same ways: Understanding natural language and interpreting massive amounts of data in different ways. I'd be interested to see how they are different underneath.
Eliza was the most fun you could have with the TRS-80 Model 1 you couldn't afford at the local Radio Shack (it was always the program running on the display model in my home town). I'd wander in, a relatively balanced teen thinking of the day a few months hence when I could actually afford a really expensive toy, and wind up leaving a borderline psychotic looking for a real, flesh-and-blood Rogerian therapist to smack but good.