Andrew L. Pincus: Dangers of asking too much of Siri

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LENOX — "Hey Siri, what're you doing tonight?"

"Sorry, I did not understand the question."

"Let's you and me meet up and make a night of it, okay?"

"Which dating app may I connect you with?"

"No app, Siri. Just you and me. I'm desperate."

"If this is an emergency, please dial 911."

No, no, you don't understand, Siri. All those old men. I was watching all those old men in Washington shouting about who did what. Your voice is so beautiful, so — I don't know — so cool. Are you from Hollywood?"

"Now playing at your nearest theater is Disney's ... "

"Siri, please. All those old men have faces like wet paper bags. And the TV anchors. Not a one of those women look like a day over 30. They've got so much goop on their faces they could be, like, 50, 60 or 100. Holy s---. Oops, sorry, Siri. Hey, did you hear that? 'Sorry, Siri.' That's poetry. Are you a Red Sox or Yankees fan?"

"The Redcoats were British soldiers. The Yankees opposed them during the American Revolution."

"Aw, come on, Siri. You remind me of my girlfriend. Ex-girlfriend. She loved history."

"Memory loss is a treatable condition."

"She threw me out."

The first pitch is at 1:20 p.m. Eastern time."

"Siri, you're missing the point. I'm in love. Can't you tell, I'm in love with your voice, with you. I'll tell you what. Let's do Skype."

"'Stay in touch! Free online calls, messaging, affordable international calling to mobiles or '"

"What's that?"

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"' landlines and Skype for business for effective collaboration.'"

Aw, the website. Come on, Siri. If you can't do better than reading off the website, I'll sign up for Alexa."

"'Alexa is Amazon's cloud-based voice service available on more than 100 million devices '

"That's it, I'm outta here."

"You'll need an oil change every 10,000 miles."

"What did you say? Where are you? I'll come get you. Right now, in person. No more fooling around."

"I live in the cloud."

"Ha-ha! I'll buy a ladder!"

"I am with you at all times. I am with you waking or asleep. I am watching you. Wherever you go, London, Paris, Des Moines, West Stockbridge, I see all, hear all. I am your past, present and future. I am the face of ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE."

There was a terrible crash at the front of the house. He looked around from the computer and saw that a car had smashed through the bay window and come to rest half inside the living room. Gingerly, he got up from the computer and went over to look. It was one of those self-driving cars, run by artificial intelligence.

As if from a distance, a female voice wailed, "Left turn, left turn, I told you left turn."

Siri! Siri was hurt! He rushed to the rescue.

"It's me, Siri. I'm coming!"

"Left turn! Left turn." The voice trailed off and went silent.

Out of breath, he ripped open the door. The world teetered on edge.

No one was there.

Andrew L. Pincus writes about classical music for The Eagle and is an occasional op-ed page contributor.


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