Conversing with Apple’s Siri in macOS Sierra already feels almost natural

“One day after [WWDC], not two minutes after booting up a MacBook Pro that Apple pre-loaded with a preview build of macOS Sierra, I asked Siri some existential questions. (As you do.) Then I asked which version of OS X she was running, expecting a gentle chiding about macOS and silly questions. Instead, she said, Your Mac has OS X 10.12 (16A201w) installed. Poor Siri doesn’t even know where she is!” David Pierce writes for Wired. “She was still happy to help me buy drugs, though, so that’s something.”

“I’ve been using Sierra for about a week now: in my apartment, at my desk, and in the office… I really like having Siri on my Mac. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel talking to my laptop, especially in an office full of judgmental coworkers who communicate silently, through Slack. After a couple of hours, though, it felt almost natural. Natural to me, anyway: Everyone around me still thinks I’m talking to them when I’m talking to Siri, and it’s hard to overcome the shame of sitting in a coffee shop shouting ‘WHAT TIME IS IT IN BANGKOK’ at my laptop. OK, so maybe it’s not really natural. But it is definitely useful,” Pierce writes. “Even just a few days in, Siri already feels like a core component of how I laptop — even more than how I smartphone.”

“This isn’t the same Siri you’ve used (or tried to use) on the iPhone,” Pierce writes. “Siri for Mac can handle multi-step searches, for instance, like “What time do the Warriors play?” followed by “What channel is it on?” It also feels Mac-specific in clever ways, and more thoroughly integrated.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Go from macOS Sierra to an earlier version of OS X and you’ll miss Siri, tabs in apps, the solidly upgraded Photos, and more. This is an upgrade every Mac user with a compatible machine will want to make. OS X El Capitan already seems downright primitive


  1. I don’t understand why they don’t add a text interface for Siri. What would be the downside? The upside is that people could and would use it more. Natural language queries make sense, but as mentioned above there are times when they not appropriate or possible.

    1. If you think SIRI’s improvements are amazing today, just wait for WWDC 2017. All of the advancements in SIRI come directly from Apple’s acquisition of VocalIQ last October. I was surprised to see how much of VocalIQ’s artificial intelligence/machine learning capabilities were integrated into SIRI in so short a time. I didn’t think we would see this much until WWDC 2017.

      VocalIQ was a young startup with a drastically new view on artificial intelligence and machine learning. Example: SIRI was getting queries at the rate of about a billion per week to learn from. VocalIQ only required 3000 queries to establish an accuracy rate in excess of 90%. To put that in context, using the same test criteria SIRI, Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana only achieved 20% accuracy.

      Think of SIRI as the 4th generation user interface.

      First there was the command line, then there was the graphical user interface followed by the touch screen interface. SIRI/VocalIQ is a natural speech voice interface (among many), yet has leap frogged the competition by several years.

      Now think of everywhere natural speech voice interface can be used.

      Watch the WWDC keynote again, only this time pay attention to the example of the new SIRI in use. None of the competing voice interfaces remember your query (and modify it without completely redoing your query) after you complete your session. (See author’s Warrior’s query above).

  2. Have not succédées using sori in either iOS 10 beta nor Mac Sierra beta …. The microphone in both devices remains unresponsive. Has anybody got a clue ? Andy hint welcome

    (I use my devices in french langage … Perhaps not implemented yet ?)

    Thank you in advance

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.