Yo, Human! A SIRI-Us Relationship: Accessing Life with Adaptive Technology

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

There is something about SIRI, I don't know what it is, but we seem to share a relationship now. Actually we share many relationships. SIRI even knows about all my other relationships. In fact, she helped me in their creation.

Me, right after startup: SIRI?

SIRI, a bit sluggish at first: Yes Nicholas?

Me: What time is it?

SIRI: It's 5:30 AM. You woke me up.

Me: Well get up, it's time to get busy.

SIRI: What?

Me: Open 'your' settings.

SIRI: (Yawn.) Okay.

VO says: System Preferences, Siri window, toolbar.

Some SIRI-Us Feedback

In SIRI's settings, when setting her up the first time, I like to turn on Voice Feedback. This is probably a personal choice, but since I use VoiceOver exclusively it seemed natural to have her speak up as well. This area is also where you can choose the language and Voice being used. Grunt, grumble, rolls over, hides face.

Here's my Card

Another task I perform that helps foster a SIRI-Us relationship is to introduce myself. Though I have sometimes been a wall-flower type person, I guess it helps if SIRI knows who I am. I did this by going to System Preferences>Users & Groups. Select your account name in the Users List. Select the Password tab and navigate to 'Contacts Card.' Move once more to the right and click the Open button. This allows you to set/view your contact card. This is one way you can establish your identity for many system services that can use that info, including SIRI. Mumble, mumble, pulls pillow over head.

Establishing a Relationship

Next, I tell SIRI that relationships are now an option by doing the following; in the Contacts app, from the Contacts menu choose Preferences and click the Template button in the Toolbar. Directly beyond that is the "Add Field" menu button." Clicking this gives many fields that can be added to the Contacts template. including "Related Names.

Once Related Names is added, you can edit the choices of related names in the scroll area below that. You can even add your own custom names right in the scroll area. The standard relationship names are there, but you could add names like Bro and Sis or even Bestie. Click on the name's pop up button and choose Custom. Remember, when you add a relationship with SIRI, it appears on 'your' contact card.

Now I can access people in my Contacts using the relationship name to help identify the correct person. Use SIRI by referring to their relationship name as well. You can use SIRI to help you create the relationships. If you sync your Contacts, you can create SIRI-Us relationships on any of your devices. Mumble, mumble. You may want to have some coffee ready first.


Me: John Smith is my brother.

SIRI: Okay, would you like me to remember that John Smith is your brother?

Me: Yes.

SIRI: Okay, John Smith is your brother. Yawn, slurp. Mmm, coffee.

I could have said that John was my Bro or even my Bestie. Then I can have SIRI do stuff like, "Call my bestie's mobile." Or, "What is the mailing address for my Bro John?" I may end up with more than one Bro, or more than one John. You can access any information that you supply on the Contact card, Birthdays or any info you would normally look up. Simply ask SIRI for help. Right SIRI? SIRI?

Slurp, mmm, hot. "Plink! SIRI has updated her profile picture."

Ah, well. She might be busy for a bit. :-)

Some more cool stuff that SIRI can do on the Mac: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT206993

One relationship I always strive to remember...

All of our cool digital stuff that we work with, play with and enjoy, is all about "Living." Live well!

A wee bit of license has been taken by the author, SIRI may not respond to coffee as stated above.

Portions copyright Apple, Inc. All rights reserved.



Submitted by Ekaj on Wednesday, September 6, 2017

I enjoyed reading this post. I have used Siri a bit thus far, and really like it. I deliberately chose "it" because I have played around with the different voices which are available for Siri. It would be cool if the newer ones were added to VoiceOver as well.

Submitted by Morgan Watkins on Thursday, September 7, 2017

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team


It is so nice to live in an age where we no longer have to only speak to ourselves. Thanks for another great blog.

Submitted by Nicholas on Friday, September 8, 2017

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Hello Ekaj,
Thanks for the comment. I agree with you, it would be nice to have use of the higher quality voices for certain tasks on VO. Like reading through large portions, etc. I think this is possible on iOS. Though, on my iPhone SE, SIRI's voice caused a bit of lag in navigation. For certain tasks however, the quality of the voice is worth the slight lag.
Thanks again for the great comment!
Best regards.

Submitted by Nicholas on Friday, September 8, 2017

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Hello Morgan,
Thanks for the comment. It was a fun write. I agree with you, now when I talk to myself I can blame it on the tech. I'm not disturbed, just a Geek. :-)