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Android Iphone Handhelds Input Devices

Siri Envy? Iris Brings Some Voice-Assistant Features to Android 402

Of all the upgrades that distinguish the new iPhone 4S from its predecessors, probably the feature that's gotten the most attention is the voice-based personal assistant app called Siri, which allows a user to accomplish certain tasks almost entirely by voice. A few days ago, as reported by TechCrunch, a team of Android developers came up with an Android equivalent to Siri called Iris (spell that backwards). It took them only 8 hours to have a working, if imperfect, app to play with and submit to the Android Market. This quick video review of Iris says the app is unpolished, but shows promise. For now, it generates some accurate results, and some amusing ones.
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Siri Envy? Iris Brings Some Voice-Assistant Features to Android

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  • Just like Siri... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Except not at all. Complete misses the point, again.

    • by sarhjinian ( 94086 ) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @08:04PM (#37806958)

      It's close enough for spec-sheet comparisons, which is pretty much what many Android manufacturers (and more than a few fans of the platform) fall back on.

      Butbubut, it's got Super-Ultra-XVSAMOLED, 4+MEGA LTE-MAX and 2TB of flash. As soon as Fruitcake or Peach Flan comes out, it'll totally crush iOS!! Well, yeah, right now it might be a little buggy, and yeah, the interface hangs on occasion, and perhaps it's limited to 3G until the manufacturer releases an update that your carrier might not actually support, but the potential is there! Honest!

      Disclosure: I have, and really like, my BlackBerry 9900; I've no skin in this game per se, but Apple really does present a cohesive, usable platform with most of the rough edges filed off. Maybe, maybe ICS will have closed the gap, but this kind of relentless focus on user experience isn't really Android's forte any more than Ubuntu comes even remotely close to Mac OS X.

      Disclosure 2: I own both a PlayBook, iPad and LG Optimus Pad. The first and last, despite having box specs that more or less than meet Apple's unit, don't best the daily experience. For example, the PlayBook can play back 1080p; the iPad can maybe manage 720p, but the PlayBook's browser stutters and it's a bastard to type on and it lacks native e-mail. The LG has an even more broken browser (yes, you can get alternatives; they're not much better than stock) and a marginally-better keyboard, and the home screen stutters. How, in this day and age, can you ship a tablet with a subpar browser and mail client, when the 800lb Gorilla in the market nails all the basics perfectly. So they can both play back 1080p and both support Flash? So what?

      Half-assed chasing of Siri is the same kind of thing. Apple doesn't own a big chunk of the market (and a bigger chunk of it's profits) because they have the most powerful, first out of the blocks and/or most open. They're doing it because their stuff doesn't exceed consumers' fiddle tolerance.

      • by ghjm ( 8918 ) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @08:54PM (#37807186) Homepage

        I have an HTC Evo and an Apple iPad, so I'm well aware of the capabilities and limitations of both Android and iOS. Yes, there are some rough edges on Android, but there are rough edges on iOS as well. Copy and paste doesn't work very well, multitasking is (by design) mostly nonexistent, and there are many missing features. (For example, I would fuck a water buffalo to get Swype on iOS.) Cursor positioning is also better on Android.

        This idea that Apple products are magically easy-to-use and perfectly polished is BS. They are good products, usually with fantastic industrial design, and usually very attractive to look at. But there's no magic to the user interface, and Android is really every bit as good.

        • by netsharc ( 195805 ) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @09:25PM (#37807326)

          Yeah, the first iPhone OS was well thought-of and intuitive, but after that it just relies on the user having to know some secrets to get it to work, e.g., who would've figured out that double-tapping the Home button on the lock screen would load Siri? That to move icons, group or delete apps on the home screen you have to hold them until they wiggle, and to group them you have to drag one onto another? Intuitive my butt...

          Not that Android apps are any better. On some apps, hitting back actually means "go to the previous screen", even if that means leaving that app. But on my music player, if I load it, it goes to the "Now Playing" screen, which is the least useful screen since I can pause or skip songs on that screen, but I can do that from outside the app as well, so why would it show me that screen? Ok this is just nitpicking, it can't read my mind. But usually I open up the music app because I want to load up a different song. So I press the music app icon, I see the "Now playing" screen. Let's see, how do I see all songs? I press the menu button. No such option. I hit back. Ah, there it is. Real fucking intuitive..!

        • by zoloto ( 586738 )
          Some rough edges on android? you could practically cut down a redwood!
      • by shadowfaxcrx ( 1736978 ) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @09:03PM (#37807222)

        Considering Apple is pushing Siri but explaining away all it's faults by claiming "uh, well, it's uh. . Still in beta," I'd say your entire post is moot.

        Siri is a gimick. It doesn't make the phone any more useful. Neither does Iris. Having a dick-measuring contest between the two is stupid, especially since they BOTH suck right now, and BOTH will presumably get better.

        • Yeah after looking at Siri I don't have any use for a Siri clone. It's one of those things that's good for 5 minutes of novelty value and impressing friends who haven't used up their 5 minutes yet.

          • Re:Just like Siri... (Score:5, Interesting)

            by uglyduckling ( 103926 ) on Sunday October 23, 2011 @09:43AM (#37809238) Homepage
            Really? Then you probably haven't used it in any practical way. Yesterday I asked "what's the circumference of a circle of diameter 3cm?". Try it. Now think about the practical applications, particularly when it moves out of Beta and it supports a decent hands-free way of addressing (cue Scottie "Computerrrr..."). I already use Google and Wolfram Alpha for practically any query when I'm at a computer, having an effective interface to do the same thing when I'm doing a practical task is amazing. I realise Apple didn't invent it, but as usual they've made it practical and widely available.
        • by CharlyFoxtrot ( 1607527 ) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @09:36PM (#37807382)

          Siri is a gimick. It doesn't make the phone any more useful.

          I used to think this about voice control, then Apple made it work in the iPhone 4 and now I use it a lot. Everything is a gimmick until someone does it well enough.

          • by immaterial ( 1520413 ) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @11:44PM (#37807800)
            Exactly. Might as well say "The GUI is a gimmick. It doesn't make the phone any more useful." because you can do things via the command line instead. The command line is in many ways more flexible and more powerful, but for a lot of everyday tasks a GUI is just plain simpler and faster.

            I use Siri all the time, even when I'm not driving/hiding the phone in my jacket. Earlier today, I told Siri, "Remind me when I leave the house in the morning, or by noon, that I need to stop by Mom's house and fix her router." 5 seconds to say + 5 seconds for Siri to process and confirm, and my reminder was set up. I certainly could have done this manually, but Find Reminders app -> Open Reminders app -> Add new reminder -> Add "when I leave the house" geofence criterion -> Add "At noon tomorrow" criterion -> Type "Stop by Mom's house and fix her router" into description field -> Save is unquestionably going to take longer.

            Voice control is far more than just a gimmick.
          • by bloodhawk ( 813939 ) on Sunday October 23, 2011 @05:27AM (#37808596)
            I had a good laugh all week at a few people trying to use the FAIL that is Siri at work, it seems apple forgot that the majority of the world doesn't talk with an american accent. It is less accurate than the voice activation on phones from 4 or 5 years ago.
          • voice command so far to me has always been pure entertainment and of no practical use what so ever

            one christmas i set up a nokia 3310 to dial a number automatically the key word was "arse" it was hilarious after 5 minutes sounding like a farmer with tourettes my brother and sister dying of laughter watching me try to get it to dial, it did so.

            A later phone with windows mobile was little better, the american bitch just couldn't understand a british accent and would eventually get in a huff and quit. Funny

        • I can leave my phone in my jacket pocket in the rain and still be able to do some really basic stuff like send email, text and set up reminders.

        • Siri is a gimick. It doesn't make the phone any more useful.

          The hell it doesn't. I have practically outsourced my short-term memory to the Reminders app in the last week. Anytime I need to remember something-- particularly when I'm in the car-- it's incredibly easy to hold down a button for 2 seconds and tell my phone "Remind me to [activity] at [time] and/or when I [leave/arrive] [location]". I would never use it that much if I had to set those up manually.

          Voice Control in the iPhone 3GS was a gimmick. Siri added utility to my iPhone from day one, and it's only

      • Apple really does present a cohesive, usable platform with most of the rough edges filed off.

        Those rough edges aren't just filed off, they're rounded.

      • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

        > any more than Ubuntu comes even remotely close to Mac OS X.

        +...don't believe the hype.

        The same goes for MacOS or PhoneOS.

        Apple owns a big chunk of the market because of an early lead and marketing and that chunk they do own is shrinking.

    • Did they build in all the easter eggs? Siri took a ton of work by multiple developers. You may be able to replicate 80% of the functionality. Heck, the original iPod had 80% of the functionality of every other mp3 player on the market. It was the 20% that set Apple apart.

      • by ghjm ( 8918 )

        What are you talking about? The original iPod had far less functionality than every other mp3 player on the market at the time. It is the scale of Apple and the ecosystem that emerges around their products that makes them compelling. The original iPod was not even very well designed from a usability point of view!

        • That's what the Parent said. As for usability, none of those 1st generation MP3 players were designed well, and I hated all of them, iPod included.
    • Re:Just like Siri... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <(slashdot) (at) (> on Saturday October 22, 2011 @09:06PM (#37807240) Homepage

      If it responds more than 25% of the time with a useful response, then yes indeed it is nothing like Siri.

      If it responds with a useful response less than 25% of the time, then yeah it is pretty much the same.

    • What part of "8 hours" didn't you understand?

  • by AugstWest ( 79042 ) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @07:45PM (#37806838)

    ...and shout, "Me too! Me too!"

    • by ichthus ( 72442 )
      Like Apple did when they introduced Siri? ...cuz, Android had voice recognition and commands long ago. Admittedly, Siri is superior... now. But, DON'T EVEN.
      • by Lemmy Caution ( 8378 ) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @08:01PM (#37806938) Homepage

        Siri is much more than voice recognition. However, it was not developed by Apple. It was a 3rd party application created out of a bigger AI product, and was originally going to target all the smartphone platforms. Apple simply bought the firm and the technology, and shut down development for other platforms.

        • by CaymanIslandCarpedie ( 868408 ) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @08:28PM (#37807068) Journal

          I'm still forced to have BB for work, but my wife has android. She has had a few voice apps and not sure which one she is currently using, but I think it may be called something like vlingo (or at least one of them was). She now does just about everything by voice. When she is in the car she turns on a setting and whenever she receives a text the phone announces who sent the text and reads it to her, etc, etc, etc.

          Haven't seen Siri, but seems Android has "had some apps for that" for some time.

          • Yes, you're talking about Vlingo and yes, it works pretty well. It's hampered by the platform, and it's not as good as Siri but it's reasonably close.

            I have it for BlackBerry, and where it falls down is that it feels like a bolt-on where Siri seems more baked-in.

        • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @09:31PM (#37807354)

          And so is the equivalent that Google Voice Actions provides, apart from not being able to set appointments, I don't see anything that Siri can do that Google Voice Actions can't. The only major difference I see is natural language support with Siri, but it's still limited to the same basic list of tasks and comes with the downside of having to figure out what's being said and match that up to a particular command rather than just identifying the command.

          Looking at the list of Siri features, I'm not seeing anything that makes me want Siri.

      • by sarhjinian ( 94086 ) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @08:09PM (#37806982)

        Apple didn't shout "Me too!". They quietly demonstrated how well it worked.

        There are people who are going to think Apple did it first, just like they do with GUIs, smartphones and tablets. The onus is on the whole rest of the industry to start delivering products and services that work as well as Apple's do so that Apple can't keep using that strategy. Currently, the whole rest of the industry seems content to look like chumps and, yes, "Me-too"-ists.

        • There are people who are going to think Apple were first to do it for the masses, just like they do with GUIs, smartphones and tablets.

          And they were.

          Okay, that's probably not what you meant, but it's more accurate. At the end of the day, if the nerds don't care for Apple and would rather use something else, fine. But to argue that there's some value in being first when your product "exceeded consumers' fiddle tolerance" (great way to put it earlier, sarhjinian, I thank you) and not enough people bought it to make it huge... well, that's just silly.

        • by CharlyFoxtrot ( 1607527 ) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @09:43PM (#37807412)

          It doesn't matter if you're the first to do it, what matters is if you're the first to do it well and are successful at it. Ford wasn't the first to make cars, and yet he's remembered as the father of the modern car industry. The dustbin of history is filled with failures who were there first ( and Apple nearly went in that dustbin once.)

      • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @08:45PM (#37807146) Homepage

        Android voice recognition is equivalent to voice commands. "Open Internet Explorer... Highlight Search Box... Type 'weather, return.'"

        Siri is a heck of a lot more interesting. Siri is a first grasp at understanding intent. "Is it going to rain tomorrow?" "Text my wife that I'll be there in 5 minutes." "Remind me at 6PM tomorrow to call the doctor." "How do I get home?"

        Now, it's not perfect. Siri is damned slow, when it runs at all. And it works a lot better in the sorts of quiet places where you probably shouldn't be talking into a phone. And it was bought by apple, rather than being initially developed by them. But it's interesting in that it forms relational databases about the world around you, and starts to correlate bits of information. It's not just voice recognition, it's meaning recognition.

        • I'd expect it to be used in the car for it's handsfree capability. And in a one-man office for it's dictation ability. The office is going to be quiet. How does it perform in a car? I'm guessing that ordinary car noises won't particularly disrupt it, but who's tried it?

        • by PNutts ( 199112 ) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @09:10PM (#37807266)

          Siri is a heck of a lot more interesting. Siri is a first grasp at understanding intent. "Is it going to rain tomorrow?" "Text my wife that I'll be there in 5 minutes." "Remind me at 6PM tomorrow to call the doctor." "How do I get home?"

          We told SIri, "Eat shit" and she listed local restaurants in order from worst to best.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by hedwards ( 940851 )

          Those are all things you can do with Google Voice Actions. Admittedly you're restricted in terms of how you phrase it, but it's dishonest to suggest that any of that stuff doesn't work with Google Voice Actions.

          Siri is ultimately at a disadvantage for taking that route, because ultimately it has to have much better comprehension of the spoken words as it can't count on matching just most of the command before worrying about what to do with the input. Basically it's the difference between Palm's Graffiti and

          • What? Seriously. Who uses the english like that?

            Siri rocks because of how it does those things. If I can't use natural language then that is the real disadvantage.

      • by aristotle-dude ( 626586 ) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @09:09PM (#37807256)

        Like Apple did when they introduced Siri? ...cuz, Android had voice recognition and commands long ago. Admittedly, Siri is superior... now. But, DON'T EVEN.

        Are you sure about that? Apple released Voice control with the iPhone 3GS on June 19, 2009 and demoed it on Jun 8, 2009. Google followed with Voice Commands in Froyo (2.2) about a year later but supporting only a fraction of the languages supported by the Apple feature.

        Siri is more advanced than Voice Control/Voice Commands in that it understands natural language, can remember things like who your wife is, where your work is and where home is and then follow commands in the future when you mention those things. It also is able to follow the context of a conversation. So if you ask about London, England in the previous question and then ask "What's the weather like today", Siri infers that you are asking about London instead of where you currently are unless if you say "What's the weather like here?".

        Siri is the off shoot of work at DARPA with SRI international on the PAL/CALO project. PAL stand for Personal Assistant that Learns. Good luck implementing AI in a couple of days.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by msobkow ( 48369 )

          Is doing it with a portable CPU supposed to mean it's novel?

          Dragon Naturally Speaking [].

          Why is every generation so naive as to think their use of an old technology is always revolutionary instead of evolutionary? Why the incessant greedy claims of "my favourite brand did it first" in the face of facts?

          No doubt Siri has advanced and evolved compared to early relases of Dragon, but people have been working on the idea and enhancing long before your iPhone existed.

          You young/'uns really need to do more

          • by Keen Anthony ( 762006 ) on Sunday October 23, 2011 @01:58AM (#37808076)
            Good question about younger generations. Just accept that the younger generation can never full grasp history because they will only ever learn about the products that either made it or that became legendary despite failing. That's why living it firsthand is such an awesome thing. That said, I'm tired of people with that Tourette Syndrome-like need to point out that Apple didn't invent X or Y. Apple is constantly the first to deliver new technologies as stock as opposed to a third-party tacked on upgrade. Regarding Siri, I truly don't give a damn if Apple didn't create the technology behind it. From all I've read, Apple hasn't attempted to conceal the fact that the tech comes from elsewhere, and I know of no Apple fanatics who are declaring that Apple invented it. What I have seen are Apple haters claim that Apple lovers are constantly making such statements. Apple merely has masterfully integrated that technology with a good product, and then shipped that product out to customers at a price that makes the product very accessible. And because Apple excels at doing this, Apple creates new markets and reduces the risks for the guys who follow. That is pure genius. And I say this as I look a Moto Xoom and wonder to myself: $800? How the hell did Motorola expect to sell any? Now, I don't know if I can ever use Siri. For me, there's something eerie about talking to a computer device and having it talk back. No thanks. I'd stick to good old Virtual Girlfriend Teri!
      • iPhones have had voice commands for a long time, too. On my iPhone 3gs I was able to tap my bluetooth earpiece and say "Call Steve" and it would dial Steve from my address book for me. The difference with Siri is that it's a natural language processor, so it can understand and intelligently respond to a much wider range of queries instead of just a small list of fixed commands.

        I upgraded to the 4s and have played around some with Siri, and I like it so far. For some tasks it is definitely faster to ju
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by DesignShark ( 595848 )
      It's more like, "We can replicate your revolutionary new technology in 8 hours, big woop."
  • by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara.hudson@ b a r b a> on Saturday October 22, 2011 @07:50PM (#37806864) Journal

    You asked "How is Iris like Siri?"
    "One moment ... I don't know."

    "How is Iris different from Siri?"
    You asked "How is Iris different from Siri?"
    "One moment ... Iris is backwards."

    "Should this have been posted on slashdot?"
    You asked "Should this have been posted on slashdot?"
    "One moment ... That is what is for."

    "Do I look lame talking to my phone when nobody's there?"
    You asked "Do I look lame talking to my phone when nobody's there?"
    "As opposed to the rest of the time?"

  • No, Siri-ously (Score:4, Interesting)

    by xkr ( 786629 ) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @07:50PM (#37806870)

    This reminds me of when the Chinese tried to copy a 747. They made it out of wood, and got the center of gravity wrong. Is it a plane?

    In the youtube demo, it missed every question.

  • A few hours? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by __aazsst3756 ( 1248694 ) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @08:00PM (#37806936)


    The real Siri grew out of one of the largest artificial intelligence Darpa funded projects ever. Then SRI raised 24 million to continue development. Then Apple bought the company and threw a lot of man hours refining it further. []

    And they successfully copied it in a few hours? Should fit right in on the Android app store.

    • Re:A few hours? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Lemmy Caution ( 8378 ) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @08:10PM (#37806984) Homepage

      The core technology is available for download from SRI's website. Siri had exclusive licensing within a domain, but that was with the understanding that it would be cross-platform in the smart-phone sector. If Apple doesn't restart development for Android etc., it may make an interesting case whether they can keep exclusivity on non-iOs platforms.

    • by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <(slashdot) (at) (> on Saturday October 22, 2011 @08:59PM (#37807204) Homepage

      I think anyone in the media talking up Siri has never actually tried to use the thing. It hardly every understands what you want the first time without clarification, it doesn't work without a constant network location, it can't read back any answers to queries (just pops stuff up on the screen)... its pretty much useless as a real voice control solution. And yes, I *DO HAVE IT* unlike some reviewers.

      • That's the price you pay for flexibility. I had similar issues with my Win mobile device, MS would allow you to draw the characters in different ways and would try to accommodate that. Palm at that time made you learn how to use Graffiti in order to enter text, however because they made you use a standard style of writing it could cut down dramatically on the possible interpretations of any written text.

        In this case because Google Voice Actions is limited in what input it will receive it becomes drastically

  • It reminds me of DragonDictate, in that there is no connection between what I say and what it thinks I said. Google Voice Search does a better job of imitating Siri than Iris does.

  • Good thing, Apple didn't name it Anna or Bob
  • by general_re ( 8883 ) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @08:39PM (#37807118) Homepage
    Some sample queries I fed Iris:

    Q: Where can I get a cheeseburger?
    A: The bank.

    Q: What's the weather like in (my town) tomorrow?
    A: Now in (my town) the temperature varies between low points of 26C and highs of 36C (79F and 97F). The conditions are light rain showers during the day. The day after that the temperature will vary between 26C and 37C (79F and 99F) and the conditions will be sunny weather.

    (It didn't rain today, and despite the impressive range of temps - way to cover your bases, Iris - it still muffed the highs for today and tomorrow.)

    Q: What time is it in Hong Kong?
    A: October 23rd 2011, 8:24:52 HKST

    Q: Where is the nearest Wal Mart?
    A: Probably Washington. It's a state border.

    (I live on the east coast.)

    Q: What's the population of Canada?
    A: The population of Canada is approximately 33,100,000.

    Q: How far is it from Chicago to New York?
    A: 1,145.16 kilometers (711.57 miles).

    Q: Where can I get a recipe for cheesecake?
    A: En la esquina, con minifalda.

    (Yes, it really said that in Spanish.)

    So, yeah - a work in progress. It had no trouble recognizing every single question, it just fell down on many of the answers.
    • by aristotle-dude ( 626586 ) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @09:15PM (#37807290)

      Some sample queries I fed Iris:
      Q: Where can I get a recipe for cheesecake?

      A: En la esquina, con minifalda.
      (Yes, it really said that in Spanish.)

      So, yeah - a work in progress. It had no trouble recognizing every single question, it just fell down on many of the answers.

      Oh, man that was awesome. Thanks for making my day.

      En la esquina, con minifalda. English:"In the corner, wearing a miniskirt."

    • You do realize that range of temperatures is from the low point at night to the high point during the day, right? I see nothing "impressive" about the range of temps. It looks like a perfectly normal forecast. Perhaps you're just not acquainted with how weather is predicted and reported?

  • Actually (Score:5, Informative)

    by Superken7 ( 893292 ) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @08:40PM (#37807120) Journal

    Actually, if you really want to see anything that comes close to Siri, it's speaktoit. It's available for free from the Android Market and is very similar to Siri.

  • What should I do today?
    A: You should hate stairs

  • Voice Actions (Score:5, Informative)

    by Space ( 13455 ) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @10:11PM (#37807488) Homepage

    I have been using an app called voice actions on my Android phone for several months. It does text messaging and email quite well. It seems they recently renamed it to Jeannie. Check it out instead of this useless app. Market link []

  • by Tom ( 822 ) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @11:14PM (#37807718) Homepage Journal

    Another bunch of freaks who just don't get it.

    The polish and the fact that the Apple stuff is finished when it hits the street is what makes a good part of it's appeal. Don't confuse "finished" with "perfect", it isn't. I have a couple remarks on what could/should be improved. But I've not gotten the impression of getting a half-finished DIY product as with Linux or Android (don't get me wrong, for some things, that's exactly what I want. But not for my phone).

    8 hours can give you a prototype. It'll take at least a couple weeks before you can consider it "done".

  • I dont want siri, shes polite sanitized crap force fed to us by apple.
    I want sumomo from chobits, an obnoxious anime voice assistant for my phone.


  • by Bitsy Boffin ( 110334 ) on Sunday October 23, 2011 @02:04AM (#37808094) Homepage

    I just installed it...

    ME: what is the weather like in Christchurch tomorrow
    It Recognised: what is the weather like in costume tomorrow
    It Replied: There is no weather

    Tried again...
    ME: what is the weather like in Christchurch tomorrow
    It Recognised: what is the weather like in christ church tomorrow
    It Replied: I don't know I don't live there.

    ME: where is the nearest bank of new zealand
    It replied: Hell if I know.

    ME: where am I
    It replied: Where Am I? is the abumn by Mike Johnson published November 7th 1994

    Me: what is my current location
    It: You have no brother.

    Me: what time is it
    It: (gives correct time, but in UTC, not local)

    Me: how long is it until 4pm
    It Recognised: how long is it from 214
    It Replied: How long is a day?

    Me (replying to question): Yes
    It Recognised: kids
    It Replied: Kids is the school and non-business organization, in Northside Independant School District

    Me: Remind me at 9pm to go and buy milk
    It Recognised: remindme at 9 pm to go in hawaii
    It Replied: I have two pets.

    Me: What time is it in Tunguska
    Recognised: what time is it in english
    Replied: it is 4:40 in England

    Me: Where is siberia
    Replied: Wherever you make it I guess

    Me: How do I get to blenheim road
    Recognised: how do I get to clean a micro
    Replied: By plane.

    Me: Give me directions to jelly place
    Recognised: give me directions to chelsea place
    Replied: it's a garage

    Soooooo... yeah, the developers of this seem to have done little more than wrap around google voice search to provide rather abstract one liner spoken responses. An amusement. Nothing more.

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn