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Apple Needs You to Help Fix Siri

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Siri, the voice-activated assistant pre-installed on the iPhone 4S, is perhaps the flashiest feature of Apple's latest smartphone. Simply talk as you would to a fellow human being -- or sycophantic minion, in this case -- and Siri hops to delivering or noting the info at hand. And unlike Android's Voice Actions, Siri operates on "fuzzy language." in other words, rather than operating from specific voice commands, Siri is able to interpret contexts to achieve desired results.

At least it should.

In a somewhat-scathing diatribe against the Apple's promises, Gizmodo's Mat Honan rails against Siri's clunky AI and inability to decipher very specific and routine tasks. He argues that Siri's reality is a far cry from the amazingly versatile virtual assistant advertised in Apple's ads that blows away any Android, BlackBerry, or Windows device.

And when it's this difficult to find access to birth control, there are definite improvements to be made.

Well, Apple is ready to soup up Siri and has posted job openings for you to help with the process.

Yesterday, Apple's Siri user interface manager Dan Keen tweeted two job openings for the Siri team. Both are for iOS software engineers -- one senior, the other entry-level -- and open with, "Want to make the next big thing even bigger? Want to do the impossible? Want to be constantly challenged into accomplishing things you know are beyond your reach?"

The description for senior position:

"We are looking for an engineer to join the team that implements the UI for Siri. You will primarily be responsible for implementing the conversation view and its many different actions. This includes defining a system that enables a dialog to appear intuitive, a task that involves many subtle UI behaviors in a dynamic, complex system. You will have several clients of your code, so the ability to formulate and support a clear API is needed."

The entry-level position is no less demanding:

"Being a generalist application developer, you are expected to be equipped with strong skills in object-oriented software design and programming. You will be responsible for developing new features, maintaining existing code, fixing bugs, and contributing to overall system design. Performance analysis and tuning will also be a significant responsibility in your job. Given the limited resources of mobile devices, we need to squeeze every last bit of performance we can get. You should be able to step back and look at a problem in a different light to identify an approach that improves performance."

Together, iPhone 4S owners hope, the team will produce a smarter, much more doting virtual assistant that can handle our most mundane tasks.

Like choosing between Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint.

(See also: How to Use Siri on Apple's iPhone 4S and AT&T Named Worst US Carrier for Third Year in a Row)

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