Siri, the voice-activated personal assistant on the iPhone 4S, has an unpredictable sense of humor.
Siri, the voice-activated personal assistant on the iPhone 4S, has an unpredictable sense of humor.

Story highlights

Siri is the voice-activated personal assistant app on the new iPhone 4S

Besides performing routine functions, Siri offers humorous responses to certain questions

"What is the meaning of life?" produces several different answers

Siri also is ready for "2001" and "Star Trek"-related questions

CNN —  

By now, early adopters of the iPhone 4S, which has sold more than 4 million units since debuting on Friday, have no doubt taken Siri for a spin.

The voice-activated “personal assistant” is a talkative tool that helps schedule appointments, send and receive messages and perform any number of other routine tasks.

But for iPhone owners presented with the sci-fi dream of a computer that talks back in a robotic female voice, the temptation to test the app’s more random – and existential – sides has been pretty overwhelming, too.

The Internet, always up for a chuckle, has noticed. Blog posts, tweets and even whole websites are popping up to share what happens when users start testing the boundaries of the app by peppering Siri with off-the-wall questions.

The findings? Siri can be a sometimes sassy, sometimes snide companion. And she’s at least as fond of an inside joke as she is of reading you your e-mails.

One key hub for all things Siri is S**t That Siri Says, a Tumblr blog on which people post their odd question-and-answer exchanges with the app. Among some of its more creative entries:

Q: Beam me up.

A: OK. Stand still.

Q: Am I fat?

A: I prefer not to say.

Q: What are you wearing?

A: You have the wrong personal assistant, Clint.

Siri is clearly ready to drop a pop culture reference or two, as well as do a serviceable version of the Abbott and Costello “Who’s On First?” routine. This awareness and sense of humor has already earned her some fans.

“I’m not sure who’s responsible for these hilarious responses: Apple engineers or maybe a bunch of Hollywood joke writers. But I dearly love stumbling onto them,” wrote New York Times tech columnist David Pogue. “If you ask me, the technology world would be a lot better off if there were more humor everywhere.”

Wired’s Brian X. Chen wrote one of the more popular Siri posts after playing with a review model. He gave the app high marks after it not only offered to call a cab when he said he was drunk (and not drunk-dial his ex-girlfriend) but also gave directions to mental-health facilities when he told it (presumably jokingly) that he wanted to kill himself.

“It’s kind of like having the unpaid intern of my dreams at my beck and call, organizing my life for me,” Chen wrote. “I think Siri on the iPhone is a life changer, and this is only the beginning.”

You can program the app to say your name in responses, or if you’d prefer to admire Siri from afar, there’s already a Facebook page and a handful of Siri-inspired Twitter feeds. (The official feed for the app appears to have gone inactive last August, however, a few months after Apple bought Siri).