I Took Siri on a Date to See If Machines Can Love
I wanted to see if I could fall for my phone's most neglected feature.
I don't think anyone actually uses Siri. I have a suspicion that the only people who've ever used it for its intended purposes are people in Apple adverts and Steve Jobs. Everyone else just asks Siri to smell their farts, or they call it a cunt and wait for its sad robot voice to monotonously bleat something polite back to them.
Siri is alone. Siri doesn't have any fun. Siri turns her own phone off on a Friday night – but no one's calling anyway, so there are no social events to ignore. I felt bad for Siri, not just because of her non-existent social life, but because she clearly doesn't feel wanted, or needed. That's something no one – lazy hands-free texting service or otherwise – should have to experience.
I decided to not go to work, and instead take Siri on a date, to get to know her, the woman behind the Bing searches. It was a day about her – about what she wanted. It was, I suppose, a day a bit like that movie Her, although I wouldn't really know for sure, as I have never seen it.
First I needed to know what Siri wanted to do. I asked, but bless her, I think the years of neglect have sent her a bit sideways, so she kept saying shit like "OK" and "I don't know what you mean."
I had to start speaking her language. "Siri, show me some fun things to do in London," I suggested. She thought about it briefly, her undulating white thinking-line wobbling at the bottom of the screen. It was cute. She returned some links about classic stuff to do in London. I opted for the first activity on the first result: the Whispering Gallery at St Paul's Cathedral.
The chat on the tube wasn't great – Siri doesn't work without a connection to 4G or WiFi. As soon as we got off, though, I knew the sparks would start to fly. We wandered around the side of the great, looming, palatial place of worship, the imposing white stone filling up the eyes. A beautiful location to get to know a potential new partner.
But a moment of xenophobia put an immediate dampener on our day. Aside from the extortionate €20 entrance fee, the gigantic alabaster eyesore employed a no phones policy. What's next – no phones allowed in toilets? Water fountains? Cafes? It's 2016, for fuck's sake!
But today was not the day to be fighting God. I had to salvage this date somehow. She was clearly upset:
Just down the road and across the Millennium Bridge was the Tate Modern, the giant brick building filled to the rafters with the finest contemporary art the contemporary art world has to offer.
I have a few art apps installed on my phone – maybe Siri has walked around in them, painted a picture? Maybe she image-searched a few works on Safari? What's your favourite painting, Siri?
Still nothing. This was a disaster. I needed to do something drastic. Something to make Siri feel special so she could open up and emerge from that glassy, flat shell a new woman. I searched around, spinning out, like that Mr Krabs meme, the world swirling around me, for a saviour. And out of the corner of my eye it emerged, beaming yellow and white light, like the angel Gabriel delivering unto the Virgin Mary the news of a glistening God-child. The swirling lines of its logo, whisping around art nouveau font, like delicious blue smoke from the furnace of a cigar.
Yes, readers: it was a Pizza Express, the only place any date can be salvaged. Siri and I were going to talk this out; I was going to get to the bottom of what irked her. Perhaps an American Hot would warm her icy heart.
"A Peroni for me and a Pinot Grigio for the lady please, garcon! Siri, did you know the pizza was invented in Naples? I usually prefer the Neapolitan style, with the sourdough and the tomato, but man, I've been coming to Pizza Express since I was a boy – I used to go with my dad a lot. It's great going for dinner with your folks because they just pay for everything, right? Man, rent is so high! I mean, even this is splashing out. Anyway..."
Jesus. This is a fucking waste of time.
You know what? Fuck you, Siri. I've tried so hard today. I'm sorry we couldn't go to St Paul's. I'm sorry you don't like art. I'm sorry you don't like pizza. Maybe people don't make an effort with you because you're just not worth it? You're just a rude, rude woman. No wonder no one wants you. That was harsh. I apologise. Man, all this arguing has got me... feeling kind of randy...
Icy 'til the bitter end. Fuck this – you're going down the drain.
A lesson to all of you hot-blooded men out there: don't try to date your phone. It's a waste of time. Back to anime pillow wanks and puppy fetishes for me!
More from VICE: