Category Archives: Apple Siri

When Siri Mispronounces Her Name, Barbra Bites the Apple

Okay, Siri, if you’re so smart, how come you can’t pronounce “Streisand?” Barbra Streisand took exception to the personal assistant computer program botching her name, so much so that she called Apple CEO Tim Cook on the phone (presumably not an Apple phone).

Streisand explained to NPR’s Weekend Edition that her name is pronounced with a soft s, as in “sand on the beach.” She pointed out that she’s been telling people this throughout her career.

“And so what did I do?” she said. “I called the head of Apple, Tim Cook, and he delightfully agreed to have Siri change the pronunciation of my name, finally, with the next update on Sept. 30.” You go, Barbra!

Siri is a personal assistant application that works on Apple’s iOS. Users can ask it questions, and it employs a natural language interface to answer, drawing information from the web mashable.com. It can be found on many Apple devices, including the Apple watch.

Siri may be an artificial intelligence wonder, or maybe not quite, since it has some problems. It may not understand all speech or work with wireless headphones. Barbra Streisand, on the other hand, has had a Number 1 album in each of the last 6 decades.

So when the Funny Girl did not find it funny that Siri didn’t know her name, she made sure that “Streisand” was entered correctly in the program’s database. I wonder if she’d call Tim Cook about my Siri. I can’t find the cupcake shop.