To test a computer program designed to understand natural speech try throwing some nonsense into the input. To test Siri on an iPad I said to the program, “Help me understand up without seventeen clams.” Siri correctly transcribed my statement, but lamented, “I’m afraid that exceeds my capabilities at this time.”
Preston’s teen-age sister was with me as I tested Siri, and she had a test of her own. She told Siri, “Meow…meow…meow,meow,meow.” She was delighted when Siri dutifully retrieved a YouTube video of Avril Lavigne singing “Hello Kitty”.
As a final test, I affected a heavy accent and told Siri, “Imma take my frail an’ we gwana go shoppin’ fosome bling-bling, aweyeght?” Siri transcribed this as, “Emma takes my Frau Andes Achilles IV bling- bling, I!” Poor Siri then confided that it could not find “Bling Bling” in my music. Siri parses nonsense well enough, but the program needs Ebonics training.