MacMost Q&A Forum • View All Forum QuestionsAsk a Question

Can Siri Be Trained To Understand My Voice Better?

I’m finding that using Siri is a crap shoot. “Her” mistakes often outnumber her successes. I speak clearly and succinctly yet she doesn’t get it right. It happens with “Open Sig-Alert App” half the time (not always) and “Call Sue, Home” (sometimes). Texts are a huge Siri dilemma for me; I have to re-write spoken texts nearly every time.
There are a gazillion others out there (Google any combination of ‘Siri’ and ‘wrong’ and/or ‘doesn’t understand’) who would like to “train” Siri to better understand them.
My iPhone5 is fairly new and it almost seems as if there was a point where mistakes increased overnight… but I can’t be sure.
I may mumble but not THAT much! Any help out there?
John C Stires

Comments: 6 Responses to “Can Siri Be Trained To Understand My Voice Better?”

    11 years ago

    You can't train Siri to understand you, at least not the way you think. Previous voice dictation systems allowed you to train the system to understand you. But these systems then required you to complete a long set-up process in order to get it going. Apple didn't go that route with Siri, instead opting to have a system that worked as best it could right away.
    But of course it understands some people better than others. And there are some things you can do to "train" Siri, in a way.
    For instance, you can use the Contacts app to add a Phonetic first and last name to contacts. Siri will then use those phonetic spellings to understand you better. For instance, you can use "Lee" as the phonetic spelling for a friend "Leigh." You can also use the nickname field for alternatives.
    You can also assign common terms like "wife" or "dad" to names. Tell Siri: "Debby is my wife" and then Siri will confirm. Now you can tell Siri to "call my wife" and it will understand.
    As for launching apps, I find experimentation is best. Try deliberate pronunciation variations for app names. I had to say "aw-duh-bull" to launch Audible instead of the unreliable "awed-eh-bull."
    As for text dictation, there's not much you can do. Make sure that you are using a good mic with good conditions. Perhaps your mic (on the EarPods?) is damaged or dirty? Or, perhaps you will find better results holding it to your mouth or a few inches from your face. Also, conditions count. Naturally, Siri isn't as good for me when riding my bike with wind whipping by as it is when I am in the car and it is quiet. I try to keep Siri-dictated texts very short either way.

    John C Stires
    11 years ago

    Thanks, Gary; as usual I was hoping for a magic bullet. Siri misses stuff when I'm sitting on my bed trying to text a friend, i.e., absolutely optimal audio conditions, I'm speaking directly into the phone's mic. The 'net is flooded with similar questions (and unlike yours, amazingly incomplete answers.) Nuance (same engine?) has a very minimal training session for a reason and I think Apple missed one here.
    As always, thanks for sharing your wisdom,

    John C Stires
    11 years ago

    Driving to Sterling's office in downtown San Diego. Siri, 'What can I help you with'
    "Guide me to Sterling Stires work"
    'Where do you want the fires?'
    "Guide me to Sterling Stires'office."
    'There are several offices quite some distance from you. Here are fourteen in Orange County' [75 miles away, not one 'stires']
    I left Android because of Google. I have Macs at home and thought an iPhone5 would fit right it. It's a nightmare; BIG disappointment. Siri is DANGEROUS [for me] to use while driving.

      11 years ago

      Is that your work address?
      Why not just say "take me to work"
      As long as you have labeled that address in your contacts to "work" you don't need to say anything more.
      Or, say "take me to Sterling Stires." and it should ask you which address. If Sterling Stires is your brother, then edit your contact and add him as your brother, then ask "take me to my brother" and it will ask which address.

        John C Stires
        11 years ago

        “take me to Sterling Stires” [son w/ office downtown San Diego]
        "I cannot find any Sterling Steers" (note pronunciation)
        “take me to Jamie Stires” [nickname]
        "I cannot find any Jamie Steers"
        It worked after asking for myself. I'm sitting in my living room without any background noise. I have used voice-to-text before, usually w/ a training protocol; Siri is the worst; a serious disappointment.

          11 years ago

          I experimented with different speech forms and now talk like a robot and most times she gets it totally correct. To say she does not learn I find interesting. When I used to say Balcarres (my home town) she would come up with bel terras but now after a few months she comes up with Balcarres. However when I say Ann and she comes up with And every time. Siri is still way better at listening than I am at typing!!

Comments Closed.