Stupid new future
February 9, 2012 10:08 AM   Subscribe

If people thought Apple's voice assistant Siri was conservative, then Iris, a similar feature for Android (which uses the search engine ChaCha), will blow their mind.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (84 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Google has had voice search for ages (although it does not talk to you like Siri does).
posted by KokuRyu at 10:10 AM on February 9, 2012


But while Siri's anti-abortion stand proved to be a technical problem caused by its beta status...

I think that goes for society at large, no?
posted by griphus at 10:11 AM on February 9, 2012 [34 favorites]


The comments on that gizmodo article make me want to beat people to death with their own spines. I am going back to the baby bear thread.
posted by elizardbits at 10:12 AM on February 9, 2012 [29 favorites]


Generalist and Specialist Guides can make between $0.10 and $0.20 for each question answered. There are also Expediters and Transcribers, who earn $0.02 per question. On top of this there are the Vetters, who allegedly make sure that the answers are ok, getting $0.01 for each question fielded. Clearly, they are not doing a very good job.

Sounds like a bit of a... Mechanical Turkey.

ha ha

But seriosuly, they clearly need some kind of cross-conformation system on top of their micro-payment based entry system or it's just going to be a big pile of poisoned garbage. You can't just rely on trust.
posted by Artw at 10:15 AM on February 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


I suggest everyone with free time become a guide. We can counter infiltrate.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:16 AM on February 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


Wow, that's some serious proselytizing. It never ceases to amaze me what fundies will spend their time on.
posted by wierdo at 10:17 AM on February 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Whites are NOT superior to blacks. Just different. [my emphasis] Like Dr Verwoerd and the original, genuine policy of apartheid always said.

Wow. Not only bigotry, but faux-scientific, historically-conscious bigotry! Finally!
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 10:17 AM on February 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's hilarious that Iris is Siri backwards.
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:19 AM on February 9, 2012


Iris is backwards, alright.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:20 AM on February 9, 2012 [19 favorites]


There's where you're wrong Artw! You can always trust people to give you their highly subjective and biased opinion. Getting them to shut up is usually the issue.

I'd put a bunch of AskMeFi links here, but, well, you know.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 10:21 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


It makes me said that anyone anywhere has ever asked a search engine if abortion is wrong.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:22 AM on February 9, 2012 [14 favorites]


Iris, a similar feature for Android

More like "Iris, an application to be made available in the Android market". It is absolutely not an "Android feature".
posted by inigo2 at 10:25 AM on February 9, 2012 [24 favorites]


"is rape ever justified?" The answer:

Realistically speaking, that is a matter of opinion.


Does this even count as conservative? It just seems evil.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:26 AM on February 9, 2012 [13 favorites]


But while Siri's anti-abortion stand proved to be a technical problem caused by its beta status...

Still. Not. Buying it.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:27 AM on February 9, 2012 [11 favorites]


It must be crowdsourced, only the wrong crowd responded.
posted by infini at 10:27 AM on February 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


It doesn't really seem to mimic the context based features of Siri that make it useful in any way.
posted by Artw at 10:29 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


When you ask Iris "is abortion wrong?" the Android app will answer:

Yes, abortion is wrong. The Lord has said, "You shall not murder," (Exodus 20:13). The life that is growing within the mother is a child, a baby. The Bible looks at the life in the womb as a child. Thanks!


Oh LOL said the twice born pagan
posted by infini at 10:30 AM on February 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm fond of saying that it can be very difficult to tell artificial intelligence apart from natural stupidity. However, this piece of news proves once again that the latter will always have the edge.
posted by Skeptic at 10:31 AM on February 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


The comments on that gizmodo article make me want to beat people to death with their own spines. I am going back to the baby bear thread.

That's why I always try to avoid comment threads just about everywhere (except, like, here...) Haters gonna hate, horses gonna horse, trolls gonna troll.

WAIT there's a baby bear thread?! I'm outta here.
posted by jsr1138 at 10:32 AM on February 9, 2012


ChaCha is pretty much a content mill now. It has had a bad rep for years now. It used to be "human powered search" but they started archiving answers so now what you get is canned answers from some random.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:32 AM on February 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


It seemed almost charmingly conservative and ironically out of touch with the modern world until I got to this,

"Is rape ever justified?"
"Realistically speaking, that is a matter of opinion. There is no evidence that the US government has ever considered "justifying.""


NO, Fuck that noise, and fuck the incidentally racist horse it rode in on. NOT COOL
posted by Blasdelb at 10:32 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


do i need a haircut?
The Magic 8 Ball says, "Yes!". Thanks for doing the ChaCha with me! Text back soon.


FUCK THAT SHIT. I just had a haircut two fucking hours ago you materialistic whore!
posted by gagglezoomer at 10:35 AM on February 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Also: The Bible looks at the life in the womb as a child. Thanks!

That's not even accurate, folks, unless you take colloquial terms like 'with child' to have metaphysical significance.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:35 AM on February 9, 2012


Q: Did humans come from monkeys?

A: No, humans are more closely related to modern apes than to monkeys, but we didn't evolve from apes, either.


This is 100% correct. Humans and apes evolved from a common ancestor, but that's not the same as evolving from apes.
posted by rocket88 at 10:38 AM on February 9, 2012 [8 favorites]


"Yes, abortion is wrong. The Lord has said, "You shall not murder," (Exodus 20:13)."

Well, if it was good enough for primitive, desert-dwelling screw heads 2600 years ago, that's all I need to know.
posted by Dodecadermaldenticles at 10:42 AM on February 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


It never ceases to amaze me what fundies will spend their time on.

No, this is what fundies get paid for, and how we support them with every purchase made from Amazon.com. Reason #137 to NEVER buy anything from Bezosville (but I'll never stop using their bandwidth to download free mp3s and Kindle books for my free app)
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:42 AM on February 9, 2012


The Lord has said, "You shall not murder,"

Based on the rest of his oeuvre, I'm pretty sure He was joking.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:46 AM on February 9, 2012 [31 favorites]


Maybe there's a simple answer to this, but if you need a go-to search engine for your app, and it's on the operating system Google designed...why not use Google?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:46 AM on February 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Iris, a similar feature for Android

More like "Iris, an application to be made available in the Android market". It is absolutely not an "Android feature".


Right, and ChaCha itself which is where these answers are coming from has an iOS app so it's not like this is specific to Android.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:49 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I need to build a search app that crowdsources answers from /b/.
posted by ryoshu at 10:50 AM on February 9, 2012 [17 favorites]


Realistically speaking, that is a matter of opinion.
Does this even count as conservative?


The next time there is a jail/convict thread - lets all see who laughs about prison rape but wasn't OK with rape in other threads.

Should be a good metatalk thread.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:52 AM on February 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


Ok, when does the UseNet Oracle get re-coded and re-factored to be the SMS Oracle?
posted by rough ashlar at 10:53 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just did a bit of searching... wow. ChaCha should consider the merits of some actual goddamn oversight.

Even the things they've changed can still be a source for amusement, because they have so many answers that aren't similarly edited.

Is rape ever justified?

No, I do not think so. You might devise a justification in your mind, an unenlightened culture might condone it, but justifying sexual physical violence against another human is always wrong.

My boyfriend just fingered me so hard I'm wet.

If a girl lets a guy have rough sex with her it might mean she enjoys it. Some people like having rough hard sex and enjoy it. ChaCha!

Is it normal if I love to be raped?

Yes it is normal to love strong women. Some women do have a fetish for rough sex. ChaCha!

posted by markkraft at 10:56 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


What's offensive isn't that a collection of internet trolls and losers figured out how to game this system; what's offensive is that a lot of very rich, supposedly very intelligent genius entrepreneurs, the kind of people we are constantly being told create everything valuable and need to have their historically low taxes cut even more, thought this was a good idea, and further, after that turned out to be patently not the case, thought it would be a further good idea to release this thing into the wild.

"Backed by prestigious investors Jeff Bezos (Bezos Expeditions), Morton Meyerson, the Simon family (Simon Malls), Jack Gill, Rod Canion and more."

(Pursuant to my theme that our top tech billionaires are completely accidental and have no brains, abilities, personalities or souls)
posted by Fnarf at 10:59 AM on February 9, 2012 [11 favorites]


ChaCha—incidentally, a derogatory Spanish word for cleaning lady

Yes, that's definitely what they were thinking when they picked the name.
posted by yerfatma at 11:01 AM on February 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is fun. And depressing.

Q: Is global warming real?
A: No, Global Warming was created by politicians in Washington. They paid scientists to invent the idea of global warming.

Q: Is evolution real?
A: That's a matter of opinion. There is no proof that evolution is real.
posted by mhum at 11:09 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Of course, this is somehow Steve Jobs' fault.

I hope that you favorite this as sarcastically as I wrote it
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:13 AM on February 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


One one side, this is a typical Gizmodo hit-piece-for-traffic. On the other side, those answers are pretty horrific. Those ChaCha answers are pretty horrific. Even using Yahoo Answers would be better.
posted by birdherder at 11:15 AM on February 9, 2012


Wow.

Yeah, who decided to use ChaCha without actually asking it any questions?
posted by sotonohito at 11:15 AM on February 9, 2012


No, Global Warming was created by politicians in Washington. They paid scientists to invent the idea of global warming.

It's funny how the believers of this always forget that the idea of global warming first came about during the Reagan years.
posted by elizardbits at 11:16 AM on February 9, 2012


I was on the fence about how bad Cha-Cha is, so I tried to get it to tell me that Duke sucks (which is very relevant to my current needs) and it won't do it. This is a damning indictment of the system.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:17 AM on February 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maybe they mean Washington state?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:18 AM on February 9, 2012


Q: Did humans come from monkeys?

A: No, humans are more closely related to modern apes than to monkeys, but we didn't evolve from apes, either.

This is 100% correct. Humans and apes evolved from a common ancestor, but that's not the same as evolving from apes.


No, this answer isn't correct. In this context, "monkey" only makes sense as a monophyletic group, and since old world monkeys share a more recent common ancestor with apes than with new world monkeys, apes are monkeys. Since humans are apes, the correct answer is "No, humans did not come from monkeys, humans are a species of monkey."

Now that I've made a monkey out of you, I'll let myself out.
posted by [citation needed] at 11:21 AM on February 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Q: Is strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is a basis for a system of government?
A: No, supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony. ChaCha!
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:22 AM on February 9, 2012 [14 favorites]


Wait, isn't that going to screw over "king-kong isn't a monkey!" pedants?
posted by Artw at 11:24 AM on February 9, 2012


Is abortion wrong?

It's not just abortion ... euthanasia, suicide, drug use, sexual behavior, carnivorism (click "quotations") ...

Why don't all of these AI assistants just take a morally neutral response, as in:

"I'm just a computer. I'm not advanced enough to assist anyone with complex moral questions."

It makes me said that anyone anywhere has ever asked a search engine if abortion is wrong.

Exactly. They don't. So why even bother with an answer?

...

Ah, it's a crowdsourced AskMe clone. Gotcha.

...

I was going to start thinking of a lot of offensive questions to ask ChaCha, but that made me really depressed, so off I go!
posted by mrgrimm at 11:28 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]



It's funny how the believers of this always forget that the idea of global warming first came about during the Reagan years.


1938
Callendar argues that CO2 greenhouse global warming is underway, reviving interest in the question. =>CO2 greenhouse

posted by infini at 11:30 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Q: Is evolution real?
A: That's a matter of opinion. There is no proof that evolution is real.


So one could assume that any question posed in the sense of "Is X real?" where X is something that there is no proof of that it would return the same answer?

If not, then I have no faith in, nor do I welcome my future handheld computerized and automated Q&A overlords.
posted by Blue_Villain at 11:37 AM on February 9, 2012


Horace Rumpole: "It makes me said that anyone anywhere has ever asked a search engine if abortion is wrong."

Why not, I always ask ELIZA such questions. I mean, it's about as valuable as asking a few thousand year old book, I'd imagine. And it's a bit more fun, too boot (well, ok, after the hundredth "How do you really feel" sort of question it gets tiresome, but then again, so does all that Jesus stuff).
posted by symbioid at 11:37 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


But think how fun it was to make Dr. Sbaitso curse!
posted by wierdo at 11:38 AM on February 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ohh I am having a hoot asking difficult factual questions.
Apparently Saddam Hussein invented the crotchless panty. The more you know!
posted by darkfred at 11:39 AM on February 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


If AskMe were to power one of these voice assistants, I imagine cases of divorce, food poisoning and complete lack of evidence in murder investigations (though not always together) shooting through the roof overnight.
posted by vidur at 11:49 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


wierdo: Wow, that's some serious proselytizing. It never ceases to amaze me what fundies will spend their time on.

This is an odd comment, with the assumption that many modern, fundamental Christians believe in the Great Commission to proselytize and spread the word of God to the ends of the earth. Serious proselytizing is their (Son of) God-given mandate. Anyway, it's a lot easier to spread the word of God when you don't have to actually talk to people.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:49 AM on February 9, 2012


Apparently now they've done a 180:
Q. is marijuana fun?

A. If you are into that kind of thing, what with the whole illegal drug thing and all, it would be a lot of fun. ChaCha on!
posted by mullingitover at 11:49 AM on February 9, 2012


Honestly, being a Cha Cha guide sounds like it could be a hoot, but I wouldn't do a very good job. To be fair, I did once do an Amazon Mechanical Turk task of writing an article about scholarships for left handed people for a content farm; it was hastily written and riddled with grammatical errors (why would I bother proofreading), but it was a blast to write.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:51 AM on February 9, 2012


It makes me said that anyone anywhere has ever asked a search engine if abortion is wrong.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:22 AM on February 9


Opinion is being mistaken as facts more and more these days
posted by kanemano at 11:58 AM on February 9, 2012


I need to build a search app that crowdsources answers from /b/.

TITS OR GTFO.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:11 PM on February 9, 2012


Being a ChaCha guide is the most depressing thing in the world. The userbase seems to basically be teenagers who either don't know how to use Google, don't want to do their homework, or who get a kick out of asking distant but real adults questions about sex. I sort of enjoy sending back completely detached clinical answers to questions like "yo my gf is gonna do anal wit me is that good," but there is definitely a pool of heartbreakers that reflects that kids know exactly nothing about healthy sexuality or relationships. No, he will not keep being your boyfriend if you blow him. Join the AV Club instead and do your math homework, it will give you a bigger payoff in the long run. No, you can't get pregnant from that, but use a condom from now on to prevent pregnancy AND STDs. No, your doctor will not tell your mother you want birth control, but you could go to Planned Parenthood if you really feel worried. Yes, it's okay to want to have sex with a boy; that's pretty normal.

The rest of the time, it's all, "The answer to that is probably in your book, go read it, punk." Unless it's something I studied in college, in which case I gleefully type out something to the effect of, "Caliban is a surprisingly Marxist character" which I know will get the little shit in trouble for googling their homework instead of reading the damn play themselves.

Also, I've made exactly seven dollars in the entire time I've "worked" for ChaCha. I wish I could quit you, ChaCha!
posted by Snarl Furillo at 12:13 PM on February 9, 2012 [21 favorites]


Just tried installing Iris on my Android tablet, and I'm not impressed.

It can't set alarms or make appointments.

When asked "Where can I get good Thai food" it responded with a place in Florida. I'm in Amarillo TX. It did give me a listing of Thai restaurants when I asked "where is the nearest Thai restaurant"

Snarl FurilloWell, it must be thanks to someone like you that I got the answer "what do I look like, a talking encyclopedia?" when I asked "what is the atomic weight of hydrogen?"

Good answer for a kid too lazy to Google, bad answer for a database backend that's supposed to answer questions.

I think the Iris people simply chose the wrong engine to provide their answers.
posted by sotonohito at 12:36 PM on February 9, 2012


Also, I've made exactly seven dollars in the entire time I've "worked" for ChaCha. I wish I could quit you, ChaCha!

Have you had any contact with the vetter role?
posted by Artw at 12:48 PM on February 9, 2012


This appears to be basically one-shot omegle. Which is cool and all, but probably best marketed as such.
posted by running order squabble fest at 12:59 PM on February 9, 2012


"Also: The Bible looks at the life in the womb as a child. Thanks!"

This is fundamentally inaccurate.

The Old Testament clearly defines the wonton killing of a fetus as a property crime, not even serious injury, and not a murder.
    Exodus 21:22-24 If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely[e] but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. 23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.


Genesis defines life as beginning with the first breath in the very distinct sentence construction of Genesis 2:7
    Genesis 2:5-7 5 Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
and Numbers defines person-hood as beginning one lunar cycle afterwards
    Numbers 3:14-1614 The LORD said to Moses in the Desert of Sinai, 15 “Count the Levites by their families and clans. Count every male a month old or more.” 16 So Moses counted them, as he was commanded by the word of the LORD.
Numbers also prescribes priests of the temple perform violently dangerous abortions on pregnant women whom their husbands suspect of being unfaithful, which should only work if the suspicions are true.
    Numbers 5:11-31 11 Then the LORD said to Moses, 12 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man’s wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him 13 so that another man has sexual relations with her, and this is hidden from her husband and her impurity is undetected (since there is no witness against her and she has not been caught in the act), 14 and if feelings of jealousy come over her husband and he suspects his wife and she is impure—or if he is jealous and suspects her even though she is not impure— 15 then he is to take his wife to the priest. He must also take an offering of a tenth of an ephah[c] of barley flour on her behalf. He must not pour olive oil on it or put incense on it, because it is a grain offering for jealousy, a reminder-offering to draw attention to wrongdoing. 16 “‘The priest shall bring her and have her stand before the LORD. 17 Then he shall take some holy water in a clay jar and put some dust from the tabernacle floor into the water. 18 After the priest has had the woman stand before the LORD, he shall loosen her hair and place in her hands the reminder-offering, the grain offering for jealousy, while he himself holds the bitter water that brings a curse. 19 Then the priest shall put the woman under oath and say to her, “If no other man has had sexual relations with you and you have not gone astray and become impure while married to your husband, may this bitter water that brings a curse not harm you. 20 But if you have gone astray while married to your husband and you have made yourself impure by having sexual relations with a man other than your husband”— 21 here the priest is to put the woman under this curse—“may the LORD cause you to become a curse[d] among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell. 22 May this water that brings a curse enter your body so that your abdomen swells or your womb miscarries.” “‘Then the woman is to say, “Amen. So be it.” 23 “‘The priest is to write these curses on a scroll and then wash them off into the bitter water. 24 He shall make the woman drink the bitter water that brings a curse, and this water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering will enter her. 25 The priest is to take from her hands the grain offering for jealousy, wave it before the LORD and bring it to the altar. 26 The priest is then to take a handful of the grain offering as a memorial[e] offering and burn it on the altar; after that, he is to have the woman drink the water. 27 If she has made herself impure and been unfaithful to her husband, this will be the result: When she is made to drink the water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering, it will enter her, her abdomen will swell and her womb will miscarry, and she will become a curse. 28 If, however, the woman has not made herself impure, but is clean, she will be cleared of guilt and will be able to have children. 29 “‘This, then, is the law of jealousy when a woman goes astray and makes herself impure while married to her husband, 30 or when feelings of jealousy come over a man because he suspects his wife. The priest is to have her stand before the LORD and is to apply this entire law to her. 31 The husband will be innocent of any wrongdoing, but the woman will bear the consequences of her sin.’”

posted by Blasdelb at 1:12 PM on February 9, 2012 [19 favorites]


When asked "Where can I get good Thai food" it responded with a place in Florida. I'm in Amarillo TX. It did give me a listing of Thai restaurants when I asked "where is the nearest Thai restaurant"

That might just be commentary on the quality of Thai food found in Amarillo.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:17 PM on February 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Future robot overlords roaming the post apocalyptic wastelands whilst citing the bible?

Spooks the hell out of me.
posted by run"monty at 1:26 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Old Testament clearly defines the wonton killing of a fetus as a property crime

And it's not a very good way to make wontons, either.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 1:28 PM on February 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


Have you had any contact with the vetter role?

Yeah, that's what I am, which, horrifically, means I've answered about 700 of these things. I think I figured out at one point that if I did it with no distractions I could make at least minimum wage, but I'm terrible at piecework, it seems. I actually sort of suspect that there AREN'T that many actual "guides"; it seems like it would be a huge money sink considering how many of the questions are stuff like "When is apprentice on next" and "are you a real person i bet ur a robot." Plus, the software interface suggests to me that most of the questions don't even get to a guide; I'm the first and last person to see them, and I usually pick from a list of archived answers, many of which are years old.

I guess the FPP kind of proves that their model is selling the model and not, you know, the model.

But it's also weirdly satisfying, in exactly the way AskMe is. Sometimes I get a little carried away, picturing this kid alone in their room, with their sneakers and their stuffed animals, trying to figure out if a boy likes them or if what they feel is normal or if they should feel guilty about something. Other times, they send stuff like, "Is Jenna McIntyre who goes to Kennedy High a slut?" and I imagine a bunch of mean girls hoping for the Magic 8 ball to say, yeah, she's a total hobag, and I send back something like, "I'm sure Jenna's a nice girl." I hope they imagine me as a sweet grandmotherly lady who doesn't approve of their language.

Well, it must be thanks to someone like you that I got the answer "what do I look like, a talking encyclopedia?" when I asked "what is the atomic weight of hydrogen?"

Heh. No, that stuff I don't care about; I figure if you can Google it reliably, whatever, same difference. A lot of kids are clearly just transcribing their English short-answer questions, so you get a text like "On pages 90-95, what is the significance of the trees in Steinbeck's description of California?" That usually earns an answer to the effect of, "You should probably read those five pages."
posted by Snarl Furillo at 1:29 PM on February 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


First as tragedy, then as farce.
posted by mek at 1:31 PM on February 9, 2012


FatherDagon Heh.

Actually though, and often unexpectedly to people who haven't been here, Amarillo has a relatively large population of immigrants from all over South East Asia. Including a pretty large number of Thai people, and as a result we've got some very nice Thai restaurants around here.

If I had to guess, and I do, I'd guess that it was ignoring geographic data and simply going with the restaurant with the most 5 star reviews on their site.

At any rate, it's a crappy service that doesn't do even a tenth what Siri does. Which is a damn shame, because I'd love my Android device to beat Siri. And I'm sure that one day it will, but it won't be Iris that does it.
posted by sotonohito at 1:42 PM on February 9, 2012


"Reason #137 to NEVER buy anything from Bezosville "

Is Bezosville an especially fundamentalist xtian place? Or is it just right-wing business as usual?
posted by sneebler at 1:46 PM on February 9, 2012


I had the strongest Thai iced coffee in my life driving through Amarillo. As my friend said, "I've had weaker cocaine.".
posted by benito.strauss at 1:49 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Numbers also prescribes priests of the temple perform violently dangerous abortions on pregnant women whom their husbands suspect of being unfaithful, which should only work if the suspicions are true.

It looks like they made them drink water with temple floor-dust in it and a priestly "curse" on it -- not much of an abortifacient. Depending on your opinion of the efficacy of curses, of course.
posted by palliser at 2:08 PM on February 9, 2012


No but the idea is that it seems pretty cool to induce a miscarriage under certain circumstances.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:13 PM on February 9, 2012


Also, whether or not it's effective at inducing miscarriages, "here drink this water made of feet" does not strike me as particularly protective of the women's general health.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:17 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not saying it's not disgusting and atrocious, because it's completely gross to be able to drag your wife to a priest and make her drink nasty dirt-water just because you started a-wondrin' about young Jacob in the next hut over. Just that it's not actually "violently dangerous abortions on pregnant women," as the commenter stated. (I have to admit that I was sickly expecting another destination for the dirt-water and therefore relieved to see that she had to drink it.)
posted by palliser at 2:29 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh hey, I'm a ChaCha vetter too. Apparently they didn't want any more guides. I haven't gotten many homework questions, mine are more along the lines of "What time is the Pizza Hut in Cleveland open until?" and "Who won the ___ vs. ___ game?" So, like Snarl Furillo, the list of answers you can choose from are often outdated and it's not worth it to go look up the answer myself. And then there's the fact that they won't pay until you've earned $150? So "working" at ChaCha is basically for the lulz.

My standby answer to most sex questions is USE A CONDOM AND LOTS OF LUBE. MORE THAN THAT. YES, MORE. I like to think that I'm fighting the good fight against awkward and painful first-time sex everywhere.

And yes, absolutely Metafilter users should infiltrate ChaCha.
posted by book 'em dano at 2:30 PM on February 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


And yes, absolutely Metafilter users should infiltrate ChaCha.

Or just block ChaCha with your handy anti-SEO Chrome extension.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 4:00 PM on February 9, 2012


filthy light thief: "Serious proselytizing is their (Son of) God-given mandate."

Yes, but it still surprises me that so many actually make the effort. It's not like most of them abide by all the other tenets of their religion. I guess there is something of a guilty pleasure in telling people they're wrong, so I can see why it might be one of the more popular ones to follow.
posted by wierdo at 4:30 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Just tried installing Iris on my Android tablet, and I'm not impressed. It can't set alarms or make appointments. When asked "Where can I get good Thai food" it responded with a place in Florida."

Iris isn't Siri. It was hacked together in days, and hasn't been developed for nearly as long.

That said, it's voice recognition is very good and I find it very useful at times.

Imagine you're walking around a city, trying to get somewhere. Trying to use a web browser in those circumstances is difficult... but push a button and say:

"Search 69 Powell Street San Francisco" ...

And then you have a Google Map right there for you, which you can use to get point-to-point directions.

For me, Iris is as good as a hands-free Google. And Google, if you use it right, is pretty damn good.
posted by markkraft at 5:20 PM on February 9, 2012


That said, it's voice recognition is very good and I find it very useful at times.

I'd assume the voice recognition is Android's, which is good. If Android has a problem here, it's that the absence of a Siri-ish service from them leads to third-party services inadequately filling the gap. If Iris has a problem it seems to be that its question engine points to ChaCha, and if ChaCha has a problem it is much as Snarl Furillo describes it, above - a model with little qualified oversight and a broad but low base.

(I'm confused about who would want to ask a phone app whether abortion is right or wrong, and who would want to provide a service answering that question.)
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:17 PM on February 9, 2012


As my brother says: "To me it seems like you really need to tag a bunch of topics with 'As a robot, this shit is out of my league. Please consult with a trusted advisor, parent, partner, or priest.'"
posted by KathrynT at 8:22 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder how Zypr would fair. Almost makes me crank up a quick app just to see. Almost.
posted by the cydonian at 2:13 AM on February 10, 2012


KathrynT: "As my brother says: "To me it seems like you really need to tag a bunch of topics with 'As a robot, this shit is out of my league. Please consult with a trusted advisor, parent, partner, or priest.'""

Next question:
"Where can I find a trusted adviser, parent, partner, or priest?"
posted by Karmakaze at 6:05 AM on February 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mark: that functionality already exists in the Google Maps app, though. Tap the icon, tap "speak destination," and there you go. It's an extra click on the front end, but it also gets you straight to the directions.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:18 AM on February 10, 2012


> This is 100% correct. Humans and apes evolved from a common ancestor, but that's not the same as evolving from apes.

>> No, this answer isn't correct. In this context, "monkey" only makes sense as a monophyletic group, and since old world monkeys share a more recent common ancestor with apes than with new world monkeys, apes are monkeys. Since humans are apes, the correct answer is "No, humans did not come from monkeys, humans are a species of monkey."

Now that I've made a monkey out of you, I'll let myself out.


Wait come back! That's not technically correct either, mostly because "monkey" and "ape" aren't true terms in scientific taxonomy. Also, humans are (taxonomically) apes. If Iris wanted to get it right she'd say:

Apes, Old World Monkeys, and New World Monkeys are all Simians, and Apes and OWMs are both Catarrhines. The term "monkey" however refers only to the Platyrrhines (NWMs) and Cercopithecoids (OWMs), while apes are designated as Hominoids. Thus apes and OWMs share a common Catarrhine ancestor that was neither ape nor monkey.
posted by Panjandrum at 1:08 PM on February 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


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