Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives.

Talking to Siri is OK at home. In public, however…

Screenshot by Andrew Gebhart/CNET

The future can wait.

We’re still human, after all.

We still have human pretensions, foibles and, most importantly, human self-image.

This seems to be impacting our enthusiasm for Apple’s Siri and similar voice assistants.

Even though these have become much more adept at understanding our words and offering jokes, they haven’t entirely been adopted as natural companions.

A new study by market research firm Creative Strategies offers a blessedly understandable view of why Siri, Cortana and friends aren’t always our first thought for a chat.

We’re a touch embarrassed by them.

Even though a mere 2 percent of iPhone users in this study — which covered 500 so-called mainstream consumers — hadn’t ever used Siri, a mere 3 percent had actually used her in public.

It seems this is the greatest hurdle to complete acceptance of a digital assistant.

In fact, 20 percent of those who had never used a voice assistant said it was precisely because they couldn’t bring themselves to talk to a machine in front of other people.

The survey author admits she’s a touch stunned at this, given Americans’ vast enthusiasm for talking loudly on their phones in public.

Could it be, then, that people are simply ashamed to be seen talking to a machine in front of others? It seems so.

Indeed, the place where consumers like to talk to Siri most is in the car — likely because they’re scared to be caught by police officers holding phone.

The next most popular location for Siri-communing is in the home.

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

I wonder, though, how many people talk to Siri only at home when no one in the house can hear them.

Siri, I don’t like my brother. What should I do about it?

I decided to conduct my own experiment. I asked Siri: “Should I talk to you in public?”

Siri paused and replied: “I’m not sure what to say.”

Well, if Siri doesn’t know whether it’s OK to talk to her public, who does?


The stunning, heartwarming reason why people don't use Siri – CNET