What happens in Siri doesn't stay in Siri
Monday, Oct 17, 2011
(or, The Problem with Anthropomorphizing Software in Blog Post Titles) Back in the early 1990s Apple introduced a voice recognition technology called 'PlainTalk' in the Centris 660AV and Quadra 840AV PowerPC Macintoshes. Like the iPhone 4s, at launch those were the only computers that could handle PlainTalk because of the computing power required. One of the cool bits about PlainTalk is that it was always listening, but would only take action when you addressed it. By default, you would address it by saying 'Computer', but this was a preference that could be changed to whatever you like. Eighteen years later, Siri has a name and won't let you change it, but she's happy to call you whatever you like.

Apologies to Rattagan from the Secret of My Succes$

She's a great assistant, but how discreet is she? It turns out that when you ask Siri to call you a pet name, it gets added to your contact card, and that pet name nickname will be attached to your contact card when you pass it along to anyone else. Here's a text dump of a vCard I sent via email:

At least I didn't ask her to call me 'Asshole'.
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Hi, I'm Kevin Fox.
I've been blogging at since 1998.
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I've led design at Mozilla Labs, designed Gmail 1.0, Google Reader 2.0, FriendFeed, and a few special projects at Facebook.

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