Apple’s Siri intelligent assistant provokes fears of sinister ‘Skynet’

“When Apple introduced Siri, the talking, voice-activated ‘personal assistant’ that will come with its new iPhone 4S, the Web leaped to the obvious, rational conclusion: That it’s a sinister, potentially alien artificial intelligence that’s bound to kill us all,” Doug Gross reports for CNN.

“‘If you’re wondering, ‘Siri’ can be pronounced two ways: ‘Skynet’ and ‘GLaDOS,’ wrote Twitter user @AshleyEsqueda,” Gross reports. “That’s a reference to 1) the computer system in the ‘Terminator’ stories that gains self-awareness and unleashes killer robots on mankind and 2) the talking, sinister artificial-intelligence system that puts players through their increasingly life-threatening paces in the “Portal” video game series.”

“‘Siri may be the beginning of Skynet,’ wrote Twitter user @KingJamesVrsn. ‘I swear, if my iPhone asks me if I am Sarah Connor…,'” Gross reports. “Of course, some folks go for a more classic approach to menacing, monotone. Enter HAL 9000, the digital antagonist in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey.’ This being 2011 and all, HAL has his own Twitter feed and, of course, was quick to chime in. ‘I think I went to school with Siri,’ @HAL9000 posted. ‘Cute female computer but she talked too much.'”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward W.” for the heads up.]


  1. Anyone who won’t be able to offer Siri (meaning everyone but Apple) will have an incentive to disparage it. Envy brings out the “uglies” everytime. These are just the first steps to verbally neuter Siri’s “mindshare” by calling it names that invoke negative imagery….Skynet, HAL, etc. Childish.

    I’ll take two iPhone 4S’s please! Can’t wait to have a personal assistant in my pocket.

    1. Actually I like HAL. And since it really wasn’t his fault he went insane, I see no reason for anyone to disparage the poor computer. People act just as stupidly, and dangerously, as did HAL, but at least HAL had a reason. 🙂

  2. Officially, now, I want my Siri interface to have the voice of GLaDOS. And I am 100% serious. I think that would be the coolest hack ever. Better even than Yoda giving directions on a TomTom GPS.

    Me: “Siri, Tell me where I can find some cake.”

    GLaDOS: “You’re a bad person. It says so right here. We weren’t even testing for that.”

    1. To add to your excellent suggestions, Apple should rename it the “iPhone over 9000!!!”, let you use the Konami Code to get past the lock screen, and preload it with a mediaeval themed fandub of Lost.

    2. The voice actor who did the voice of GLaDOS is awesome. She could get a lot of money working with Apple on a Portal theme for Siri. I’d buy that shit in a heartbeat. Not sure I’d pay more then $10-$20 max though.

  3. Can someone explain how you pronounce the word ‘Siri’ as ‘Skynet’ and ‘GLaDOS’? Try as I might, I just can’t make it work. Damn, of course, they all three have two syllables. How could I be so stupid?

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