Chinese Siri Draws Blank on Tiananmen

Even if it's not censoring searches, it's not very good
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2012 10:34 AM CDT
Chinese Siri Draws Blank on Tiananmen
A Chinese iPhone app is seen in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

(Newser) – Siri is learning Chinese, but it looks like there are some things she's specifically not learning. Ask Chinese Siri about the Tiananmen Square incident, and she'll respond with answers like "I couldn't find any appointments related to 'Do you know about Tiananmen,'" or "I'm sorry, the person you are looking for is not in your address book," according to screenshots posted on Twitter by iOS6 testers, and spotted by the Wall Street Journal. In fact, Chinese Siri can't even give you directions to Tiananmen Square.

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Of course, part of the problem may be that Siri is even worse at speaking Chinese than she is at speaking English; there were some non-taboo locations she couldn't find either. "At this point Siri's Chinese isn't up to snuff," says one reviewer. "She can understand basic speech, but with complex speech she doesn't work." For the record, asking current-generation English Siri about Tiananmen will, at best, yield a Google search for it. (Read more Tiananmen Square stories.)

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