As someone with a title like Chief Innovation Officer, I probably should have been one of the first smart phone adopters. Truth be told, I didn’t jump on that bandwagon until an investor looked at my phone during a board meeting and teased me for having an “old man phone”.

In my defense, I was actually an early adopter, but I got burned by the earliest Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) from Sharp. Does anyone remember the Sharp Wizard? Ok that was what I used back in the 90s! But it was so useless I decided to take a break from PDAs and the whole chain of successors….until Siri.

Siri, to me, represented a huge leap forward in smart phones. I was one of the first to buy it…all set to be burned again by being first. But it’s actually been a happy relationship between me and Siri, at least once I learned what she was good at and not good at.

Yet, I don’t think others are quite so fond of Siri. One of the biggest problems I see people having is they have to plan out what they want to say. They inevitably make a mistake and yet Siri is so unforgiving. The slightest pause you take and she thinks you’ve finished. Have some patience Siri!

Curious to see really what is the global perspective on Siri and voice recognition in general, I decided to delve in to do some social media analysis.

Here is a NetBase Brand Passion Index (BPI) covering the last 27 months (April 24, 2013 – July 24, 2015). None of Siri or its competitors appear in the coveted upper right “Love” quadrant. Siri has garnered the largest share of voice, judging by its large bubble. But the sentiment has been very negative (it’s all the way to the left on the x-axis). Moreover, that negative sentiment has been passionate; people aren’t merely “disliking” Siri, they are in fact “hating” Siri. That’s why Siri is so high on the vertical axis. S-Voice has also go negative sentiment but the passion isn’t quite so intense: people tend to dislike S-Voice but hate Siri.

In case you want to see the actual metrics behind the BPI, here they are—this is not some fluffy chart, it’s real quantitative analysis powered by NetBase’s proprietary Natural Language Processing:

But quantitative analysis is only as good as it tells us really what’s going on and how to compete effectively in this market. So let’s delve into some attribute analysis. What’s driving the sentiment to be positive or negative? I allowed NetBase’s Natural Language Processing to surface some key positive and negative themes. Then I performed a crosstab analysis to measure how each brand performs along each of theme or what I’ll attribute:

Let’s focus on some of the outliers. First, the worst score on this chart is Siri for Typos with a Net Sentiment of -86. What that means is, on a scale of -100 to +100, Siri scores a horrible -86 whenever people mention it with the word “typo” in the same sentence. I’ve had trouble with Siri and typos too, but let’s see some actual verbatim or “soundbites” as NetBase customers have always called them:

I like that idea from Joe Devon, we should call Siri’s typos “Sypos”. Funny one Joe!

The next worst score in the crosstab is for Cortana where apparently people think it’s too slow. Here again are some actual sound bites so you can see this problem in its full context:

Let’s not dwell too much on the negatives, ok? There’s some positivity in the crosstab as well. One of the most interesting things I found was about Google Now. Do you see it got a the highest Net Sentiment score (66) for the Accent attribute? Let’s see what people had to say:

Having been a Siri user all these years, I don’t even know much about these alternatives. Having lived in the US most of my life, I didn’t even think about what a problem it would be for people in other countries to use our technology. Thank goodness Google has a broader perspective though. It’s pretty impressive that they’ve been able to make Google Now understand other accents so well.

Well Siri, it’s been a good few years with you. I think I’ll stay with you for now, but clearly there’s an opportunity for better technology to come along since neither you nor your competitors have managed to reach the Love Quadrant on the NetBase Brand Passion Index.

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