Siri offers a lovely honey-voiced example. Watching â€” or rather, listening to â€” how people use Apple’s voice-recognition interface/assistant is remarkably revealing. A cynic would say she’s a procrastinator’s delight; the questions she answers and the requests she accommodates are overwhelmingly of the “last minute/on-the-go” variety. In the knowledge worker community I observe, Siri responds to and tracks personal organization on the fly. She’s treated like a person whose job is to spare her boss from the mechanics and frictions of organizing. People don’t use her to automate their personal organizational tasks like filing; they use her to do the task. (What’s particularly fascinating is the look of horror/anger/irritation/panic if, in fact, Siri can’t understand, find or make the requested change.)
When Siri comes out of beta, I wonder how her metamorphosis will impact our lives.