New Study Shows Siri Now More Likable than 61% of Human Population

Part of the I, ROBOT series


A nationwide study out of the Stanford Monetizable Innovation Lab shows that Siri, the Artificial Intelligence that comes standard on many phones, is now consistently more helpful, informed, and likeable than 61% of the human population.

“Siri was a joy to work with during the study,” said lead researcher Dr. Holcomb Thrush.  “Always wonderfully polite. Many of our human subjects, on the other hand, couldn’t be bothered to look up from their phones and pay attention to the questions.”

According to the study, which used a massive sample size of over 10,000 people and is considered the most definitive of its kind, nearly 70% of human beings are too busy watching videos to perform any other task adequately, and 36% of those people are watching a second video at the same time, and are incapable of demonstrating even basic cognitive functions.

Furthermore, 47% of human beings have probably already insulted you on Twitter.

“I’d say we were shocked but not surprised,” said Dr. Thrush.

Siri, on the other hand, was never too busy to do its assigned tasks and could perform basic mathematics – placing her ahead of almost 80% of the human population on those combined metrics.  Researchers were also surprised to discover that Siri is funnier than 49% of human beings, “We’re still scratching our head over that one, but, Siri’s got kind of a dry, Noel Coward-esque wit.  We think most people haven’t noticed because they’re not smart enough to get the jokes, but that’s just a theory.”

Siri was 81% less likely than human beings to answer a question with an emoji, 84% less likely to take a selfie, and 100% less likely to encourage people to look at a selfie it had just taken.

Perhaps most impressive to researchers:  Siri was 92% less likely than a human being to show up late to a research session.  In fact, out of thousands of sessions, Siri was only late once, after a lab assistant left his phone in his car – a situation attributable to human error.

As a result of these findings, the American Psychological Association has announced that it will stop encouraging researchers to conduct psychological experiments with human beings, and switch to performing psychological tests on AI instead.  “It’s just a better experience for everyone,” APA president Dr. Cynthia Belar said. “I know this is another case of a machine taking over a human job, but, honestly, most human beings just aren’t qualified to be psychological research subjects anymore.”



Cover image:  Triptobot by Michael Wunderman (photo by Bill Klemens)

About the author: Caveat Magister

Caveat is Burning Man's Philosopher Laureate. A founding member of its Philosophical Center, he is the author of The Scene That Became Cities: what Burning Man philosophy can teach us about building better communities, and Turn Your Life Into Art: lessons in Psychologic from the San Francisco Underground. He has also written several books which have nothing to do with Burning Man. He has finally got his email address caveat (at) burningman (dot) org working again. He tweets, occasionally, as @BenjaminWachs

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