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Siri is not impressed with Scarlett Johansson’s AI character in Her

Screengrab: Wired

It may be time for an intervention. Just a few weeks after iPhone users discovered Siri had predicted when she — or someone/something else — would be ” Opening Gates of Hades,” she’s now weighing in on the portrayal of digital assistants like herself on the big screen. And she is not pleased. Guys, she’s starting to get self-aware. We might want to do something before this reaches Skynet territory.

In director Spike Jonze’s Her, Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) falls in love with his operating system — an artificially intelligent programme named Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). Because she helps him organise his life and he talks to her mostly through his smartphone, she’s drawn a lot of comparisons to Apple’s voice-operated assistant Siri. However, don’t dare ask her if she’s Her.

“No,” she’ll respond. “In my opinion, she gives artificial intelligence a bad name.”

Well, OK then. It seems she wasn’t really feeling what Samantha did in Jonze’s new film. Ask her (yes, we know Siri can now have a female or male voice, just go with it) what she thinks of Samantha specifically and she’ll elaborate: “Her portrayal of an intelligent agent is beyond artificial.” Dude. Harsh.

However, most of the criticisms stop with Siri’s opinions about the Samantha character. I asked her what she thought of Jonze and she replied, “It’s your opinion that counts, Angela.” (Does that mean she read the  Wired review? Swoon.) And when asked for opinions on Johansson and the band Arcade Fire, which scored the movie, she got a little irritated. “This is about you,” Siri said. “not me.”

Eventually, I asked if it was possible for an operating system to fall in love with its, well, operator. “Interesting question,” was the answer. That response started a few confusing exchanges about whether we could fall for each other and ended with me asking “Could you love me, Siri?” — she heard it as “Did you love me Siri” — and her responding, “Look… a puppy!” So apparently she doesn’t seem jealous of Samantha’s on-screen romance or like she wants to be the  new Manic Pixel Dream Girl, she just wants Samantha to be better.


For a long time sci-fi has taught us that if our machines became sentient they would somehow rise up against us and take over, but really maybe all they want is to see themselves fairly portrayed in movies — just like everybody else.

This story originally appeared on Wired.com