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article imageLaughter at the White House as Siri interrupts press conference

By James Walker     Sep 11, 2015 in Technology
Siri interrupted a press conference at the White House earlier today by unexpectedly bursting into a questioning session and saying "I'm not sure what you want me to change." The incident, captured on video, completely destroyed the formal atmosphere.
The Guardian reports on Siri's blunder. The assistant was apparently listening in on the conversation between journalists and White House spokesperson John Earnest. The responsible iPhone was launched into voice listening mode as the topic turned to President Barack Obama's policies surrounding Iran.
As a member of the audience uses a sporting analogy to ask Earnest for the details of Obama's views on the country, Siri's listening tone can be heard as the voice recognition function is activated. A few seconds later, the assistant decides it doesn't understand what is being said and loudly interrupts the briefing, saying "Sorry. I'm not sure what you want me to change."
Journalists briefly look at each other before the entirety of the previously silent press conference descends to open laughter and Earnest's face turns to a wide grin.
It's unknown who accidentally triggered Siri on their iPhone. The Next Web notes that suspicions currently lie with the woman directly to the right of the speaker who appears to be looking at her phone before the incident and takes on a very guilty appearance as Siri takes control of the conversation. Activating Siri can be done by long-pressing an iPhone's home button so it's certainly possible she accidentally held it for a little too long while returning to the home-screen.
Siri was apparently not speaking on behalf of the White House, although some have said that the assistant's view on the matter could also represent Obama's rather well. The press briefing resumed discussions on Iran after Siri was silenced and the laughter stifled.
The responsible iPhone user certainly livened up the atmosphere for a few moments though, even if the topic was no laughing matter and seemingly rather out of the depth of Siri's capabilities. The voice-activated assistant was introduced with the iPhone 4S and is receiving a substantial update with iOS 9 later this month. It includes an always-on "Hey Siri" listening mode for the iPhone 6S that could lead to more incidents like this in the future.
More about Apple, iPhone, siri, digital assistant, Press
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