One of my son’s favorite activities is to hold down the button on my iPhone and ask Siri questions. I’ll spare you the content of the questions; after all, the kid is a seven-year-old boy. But we’ve agreed as a family that sometimes, in the humor department, Siri comes up losing.
Apparently, Apple has also noticed that Siri’s humor is a little wooden. Recently, the MIT Technology Review found a job posting from Apple on LinkedIn. The job called for writers to help Siri find her comedic edge.
According to the posting, Apple is looking for “[s]omeone who combines a love for language, wordplay and conversation with demonstrated experience in bringing creative content to life within an intense technical environment.” The writer would “evolve and enrich Siri” by bringing “experience in writing character-driven dialogue.”
Apple wants Siri to be humble and friendly, but they also want their favorite lady to have a bit of an edge. While developing the software, Apple techs focused on how they wanted people to respond to Siri when she engaged them in conversation.
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“There were many conversations within the team about whether it should be gender neutral or should have an 'attitude,’” said Norman Winarsky, vice president of SRI Ventures, to the Wall Street Journal. “The result, before the software was bought by Apple, was ‘occasionally a light attitude.’”
In addition to developing original content for Siri, her team of writers would develop a process to fast-track ideas from users and employees, create and refine dialogue, solicit internal reviews, get dialogue into production and tweak problems based on user reaction to the conversation.
Ultimately, Apple wants Siri to be a “distinct, recognizable character.” They also want a candidate who is multilingual or who has translation experience to make Siri appeal to a host of global cultures. And if they’re lucky, Siri can redeem her comedy chops in the eyes of a seven-year-old boy.
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