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Random Test Reveals Google Text Searches Are More Accurate Than Siri

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Gene Munster from Piper Jaffray has published the results of an unscientific test to put Siri against Google text searches. iPhone 4S and new iPad users know Siri is able to return Google search results via voice–but how accurate are they compared to actual text searches?

Here are the results from asking Siri 1600 questions (half indoors and half out in the streets):

  • Google understands 100% of the questions (not surprisingly, since they are keyed in)
  • Google replies accurately 86% of the time
  • Siri comprehends 83% of queries in noisy conditions, 89% in a quiet room
  • Siri answers accurately 62% of the time on the street and 68% in a quiet room.

“In order to become a viable mobile search alternative,” Munster writes, “Siri must match or surpass Google’s accuracy of B+ and move from a grade D to a B or higher.”

Part of Munster’s conclusions about the abysmal performance of Siri were based on the erroneous responses to questions such as:

Where is Elvis buried? Responded I can’t answer that for you. It thought the persons name was Elvis Buried.

What spices are in Lasagna? Responded with a Yelp search with lasagna on the menu.

Siri pulls results from a variety of sources, with the majority coming from Google, then Yelp, WolframAlpha, Yahoo and Wikipedia. The tests were completed using Siri on iOS 5.

Currently, Siri has been improved in iOS 6, so it would be interesting to see the same tests performed using the latest version as dictation has been widely improved. More importantly, I’d like to see how Siri performs against Google’s own voice search assistant, as comparing it against a text search isn’t really fair.

What do you think? Siri is still in ‘beta’ but improvements are coming. Should it still, be better?

Update 1: Siri on iOS 6 vs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Google Search. The new Google search is quite impressive, as shown by Techno Buffalo:

[via Tech Fortune]

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