Scarlett Johansson's 'Samantha' has Siri feeling a little jealous

Most of us are familiar now with Siri, the iPhone’s voice-activated virtual personal assistant. Turns out, in addition to possessing encyclopedic knowledge and stunted emotions, she has a little jealous streak.

As a (probably bored) writer at Buzzfeed first discovered, when you ask Siri about Samantha, the artificial intelligence voiced by Scarlett Johansson in the new Spike Jonze film “Her,” the responses get a little snippy. Ask Siri if “she is Her,” and here are some of the answers you’ll get:

“No. In my opinion, she gives artificial intelligence a bad name. . . . Her portrayal of artificial intelligence is beyond artificial. . . . You know that’s just a movie, right?”

In the film, a character played by Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with the compassionate, disembodied voice of his computer’s operating system — Samantha.

When asked if she’s jealous of Samantha, Siri replies: “No comment.”

Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that Siri is so insecure. In an interview with the Merc’s Patrick May last year, Palo Alto psychologist Francine Toder analyzed Siri — or at least Siri’s responses — finding her lonely and unable to address her own needs.  “I would say she’s emotionally lacking. And if she were a real person, I’d guess that it would take a long time to gain her trust to the point where she’d start to open up,” Toder said.

Perhaps Siri will develop more esteem with time and reassurance. And an upgrade or two.

In the meantime, don’t worry about it, Siri. I only have iOS for you.

 

 

 

Mike Murphy Mike Murphy (354 Posts)

Mike Murphy is a web producer at the Mercury News, and also writes for Good Morning Silicon Valley and 60-Second Business Break.