If you’ve used Siri in the past, you know how reliable, or how unreliable it can be. For someone like me who speaks with a strong French accent, Siri gets it wrong more often than not, which led me to use Siri for very basic tasks instead of trying to push her limits.

If there is one time where Siri should be right on spot though, it’s during commercials or ads. But there again, it seems like Siri, or rather Apple marketing department, isn’t on top of its game.

In a recent ad placed on the back cover of the Economist, Siri was asked “what does poison oak look like” and she managed to return the wrong results…

Botanist and director of the Chrysler Herarium at Rutgers University, Lena Struwe knew there was something wrong when she first saw the ad.

“I saw the ad,” says Struwe, “and I said, ‘This doesn’t look right.’ I sent it to the botanist community, which led to a discussion. And it turns out it’s poison ivy, not poison oak.”

Turns out this ad is actually showing a picture of poison ivy, the same picture that can be found on Wikipedia’s page about toxicodendron radicans, aka poison ivy.

As a matter of fact, if you ask Siri what poison oak looks like, her best answer will be to show you results for pacific poison oak.

This gross error in the ad is neither Apple’s or WolframAlpha’s fault. It’s Apple’s ad agency’s. At the end of the day it’s not a big deal, but Apple sure could have done a better job at checking the work of their ad agency.

Next time you’re stuck in the middle of the forest, maybe it won’t be such a great idea to ask Siri about plants after all. But who am I kidding, she’d probably reply that she’s unable to connect to the network anyway.

[Newsday via Bloomberg]

  • but then again, this is rather wolframalpha’s fault than apple’s…

    • billypuntove

      not at all. What you’re not getting is that the ad agency didn’t do their research. They took a picture, perhaps from Google Image search (not 100% accurate if you don’t read the article where it’s contained) and just slapped it on the ad. They didn’t to wolfram alpha because wolfram alpha shows the right plan.
      Yes, it’s not a big deal but you would think that with the budget they surely have, they’d do an accurate job that’s not easily pointed out by a botanist.

  • Mordechai Eliyahu

    apple updates it i just tried it

  • Isn’t Siri a beta application? So it means it doesn’t fully work properly right?

    • maurid

      That is no excuse.

    • Kayneeezy

      its wolfram’s data.. only problem is apple should have verified the info before using it in a commercial..

  • Mordechai Eliyahu

    its been updated its gives a real pic. now of poison oak

    • It never did lol this is a mockup, it’s an ad 😀

  • It’s neither Siri’s or Wolfram’s fault. It’s Apple’s ad agency’s fault. They just did a quick dirty job with this

    • billypuntove

      Yes, and it’s indeed not a big deal but you would think that with the budget they surely have, they’d do an accurate job that’s not easily pointed out by a botanist.

    • EDIT: i derped.

    • Kurt Lewis

      of course it’s apple’s fault. in the end it’s their commercial and they are the one’s who are ultimately responsibly for all the legal requirements being put into commercials so why would they not be responsible here.

  • JerseyD

    Rutgers FTW!

  • I have plenty of poison oak and my property and it looks just like this image!

  • Say hello to the big screen of the iPhone 4S. Say hello to the most amazing iPhone yet.

  • Why don’t you worry less about Siri and answer the 5 people who are texting you.

    • Lol. Done 🙂

    • ………. but you do want to be mindful of avoiding “Pacific Poison Oak” – I’ve gotten it from hiking / living in California, and it is not something that you want to get! LOL!

  • HaHaHa!!!! Well, I have a feeling someone got FIRED out of this!!!

    It would not surprise me if Apple even changes Ad Agencies over such an obvious and simple, but HIGHLY EMBARRASSING Error!

  • EDIT: Nevermind I derped.

  • Maybe it’s their secret way of showing us Siri won’t always be right when you use it.

  • Another thing, the perfect line of reflection going diagonally across the iPhone.. Would that be in a forest? Uh no.

  • Its getting worse!! Apple’s “Genius” ads suck, plus this. Steve Jobs must be turning in his grave!!!

    • christodouluke

      You have no idea how Steve Jobs would feel.

  • christodouluke

    Should have used jpgtosiri instead

  • denise

    why does my iphone 6.0 (10A403) wont give me siri .