Siri vs the Pub Quiz

Alex Spencer


Fetch Media had a great idea for putting Siri, iPhone 4S's personal assistant app, through its paces: take it down the local and see how good it is at a pub quiz.

For each question, Siri could be asked a maximum of three times, testing its voice recognition abilities. When Siri suggested a web search, the top result would be used. In picture rounds, Google Goggles was enlisted to help out. For a round involving tasting a cocktail and identifying its ingredients, the idea of pouring the drink onto the iPhone was briefly considered, but rejected in favour of giving Siri a much-needed rest. So how did it do?

Well, Siri's team ended up 10th of 16. Credible, but hardly world-beating. It acquitted itself well in rounds where it had to answer straightforward questions,or identify lines from songs or films, with Google Goggles proving impressive, scoring nine out of 10 in a movie-themed pictures round. Sadly, more cryptic questions left Siri baffled, but it also stumbled over a few simple ones: “Who was the Wimbledon Men's Singles champion in 1987?”, for example.

Not quite the next revolutionary step in cheating your way to victory, then, but given the right task, Siri can prove an impressively useful application.