Is Siri Jewish?
10/16/2011 - 23:37
Rabbi Jason Miller

Everyone's talking about Siri -- the Q&A app that responds to voice commands on the new iPhone 4S. Here's a great article by Leo Margul for JointMedia News Service that ran on eJewishPhilanthropy:

 

iPhones: Not Just for Kvetching Anymore

 

 

by Leo Margul
JointMedia News Service

The new iPhone 4S. Sure it’s great, but what does it do, for Jews?

As any young member of the tribe can attest, parents want to stay in touch. Except in 2011, they want more than phone calls. They want e-mail updates, online photo albums, and to yell into the webcam on Skype. If they just learned a new emoticon, their children can expect to receive six in one text message.

They want to know what’s going on, and we want to share, but sometimes it gets overwhelming.

Fear not, the new iPhone is here to streamline all your parental communications! Apple just announced a new program for the phone, Siri, that responds to voice commands. What they didn’t publicize, however, is an additional update for the Jewish population.

Apple conducted a study where it observed Jewish employees on a daily basis, in an attempt to understand what they were talking to their parents about (don’t worry, kosher meals were provided). After rigorous research, the following features were added into the new Siri Assistant to simplify the life of the modern Jew:

Automatic Sweater Notifications: Anytime the weather dips below a freezing 75 degrees (trust us, your mother will know), your parents will automatically be notified that you are wearing a sweater. The app will further tell them what kind of fabric it’s made of, alternating between wool and heavy wool.

Remote Technical Support/Lookup: Why is my computer slow when I double-click links? How do I set the clock on the microwave? Who is Kim Kardashian and is she Jewish? Siri will automatically intercept these questions, and send your parents the relevant Wikipedia articles or instruction manuals with answers highlighted. The app will also detect if they try to sign up for Facebook, and automatically delete their accounts.

Subtle Photo Retouching: You’re out at a bar, making bad decisions, possibly with shiksas. The next day, your parents ask if you’ve made good on your High Holiday commitment to start going to more Shabbat services. With the new photo retoucher, the app will gracefully place your image onto one of many parentally approved scenarios:

Picture 1  You partying will be retouched to Picture 2 – a Jew praying with your head cropped on top

Why aren’t you a Doctor? – Argument Database: Oh boy, here it comes. Siri has got you covered with a database of counterarguments to why you aren’t more successful including:

  • Noted philosophers’ arguments against having too much money, statistics on how doctors’ stress levels lead to shorter life spans, graphs on how bad the economy is, and figures on how little your more prosperous friends call their parents.

Meeting a Nice, Jewish Girl: This is it, the holy grail of parental questions. When you do finally meet that special Jewish someone, it’s a big deal, and Siri knows that. It will send your parents her information, including:

  • Where she went to college, if her mother is Jewish, a list of Jewish foods she is comfortable cooking, current job and salary statistics, and size of birthing hips.
  • It will automatically send out that you met a Jewish girl to your parents’ friends, co-workers, and your mother’s hair salon friends.

If she isn’t Jewish, Siri will automatically text breathing exercises and directions to nearby rabbis’ homes.

With all these features, you’ll never be unprepared to talk to your parents again! Pick up the new iPhone 4S with Jewish Siri today! And don’t forget to call your mother.

 

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loved this!

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