Retro video imagines what Siri would look like in 1980s

I can’t decide whether to be glad to live now, or nostalgic
for the past.
Photo: Squirrel Monkey

Thanks to
HomePod, everyone is talking about Siri and
how it compares
to the other AI smart assistants created
by companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft.

But no matter what
Siri’s relative failings may be, the technology is way ahead
what was possible only a few years ago — as a brilliant
1980s-style parody for S.I.R.I. software makes abundantly
clear. Check it out below.

by YouTube channel Squirrel Monkey, the fake promotional
video will almost certainly ring true for anyone who
remembers using computers in the 80s. While the Macs of the
time were comparatively advanced, I was stuck using a MS-DOS
PC, and the reminder of having to use command line interfaces
and unreliable floppy drives rings all too true.

the video does weirdly succeed at making me nostalgic for a
simpler time in computing. There’s no way that home computers
of the time would have been able to carry out the kind of
complex processing or neural network trickery needed for
natural language processing, but imagining what it would have
been like to have a tool like Siri in the 1980s is pretty

As an
interesting comparison piece, here’s what Apple was
predicting was the future of computing at the time. The
actual Siri voice assistant
debuted with the iPhone 4s in 2011


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