'Why Does Siri Seem So Dumb?'

Walt Mossberg writes that he doesn't think Siri is very smart:

Yes, Siri can usually place a call or send a text. It can tell you sports standings, Yelp restaurant reviews and movie times — features Apple added years ago. And it must be said that all of its competitors have their own limitations and also make mistakes.

But in its current incarnation, Siri is too limited and unreliable to be an effective weapon for Apple in the coming AI wars. It seems stagnant. Apple didn’t become great by just following the data on what customers are doing today. It became great by delighting customers with feats they didn’t expect. The AI revolution will demand that.

Mossberg's criticisms are fair. Apple won't say so, but Siri is behind in areas.

I like Siri. My issue with it isn't so much with intelligence as it is accessibility.

Even with its warts, Siri today is absolutely capable of being a bonafide accessibility tool for those with motor delays, on iOS and macOS. Where Siri is worrisome, at least in my opinion, how useful it is for people with speech delays. I've written about this topic before, but it bears repeating: If Apple is to be a serious player in the AI game long-term, it must find a way to make sure stutterers like myself aren't left behind. Getting a robot to parse even normal speech patterns is a tough job, but Siri's—and that of other voice-driven products like it—appeal to stutterers will be limited because it has trouble understanding us. As it is now, my only recourse is to slow down and hold the Home button as I'm speaking in order to get Siri to do what I want.

Bottom line: Using your voice to interact with your computer may well be the future, and it certainly has obvious benefits as an assistive technology. I just hope Siri's engineers haven't forgotten that speech delays are disabilities, too. Because with voice, speech matters.