Sometimes I need to get Siri to countdown 50 minutes on my phone (don’t ask why). The trouble is, Siri appears to be deaf and often hears “15 minutes”, leading me to cancel the countdown, and say it again r-e-a-l-l-y c-l-e-a-r-l-y.
A better solution? Get it to count down 51 minutes instead, which sounds unlike “fifteen”.
A bit like using a search engine and getting the phrasing right for the best results, in our voice-activated world it’s necessary to think about how things are spoken (and I never thought I’d be saying that — my inner child is leaping with joy at the idea of intelligent computers!).
In other words, it’s less about speaking clearly, and more about making the system accept what we mean.