Siri = Eliza? (Update: she knows her)

Bob Fish sends along Siri's answer to the question "Tell me a story" and wonders if there's a connection between her and Eliza from the Apple ][.
Written by Jason D. O'Grady, Contributor

Bob Fish writes about his experience playing with Siri, the voice-enabled assistant software included with the new iPhone 4S:

I have fond memories of playing with an old Apple ][ program called Elizawhich was supposed to be a therapist that you could talk to and she'd help you out by listening and giving you suggestions.

The following conversation with Siri blew me away:

Tell me a story.

  • I don't know any good stories.

Tell me a story.

  • Oh, you've probably heard it before.

Tell me a story.

  • Once upon a time... no, it's too silly.

Tell me a story.

  • Please don't make me.

Tell me a story.

  • Ok!
  • Once upon a time in a virtual galaxy far far away, there was a young, intelligent agent by the name of Siri. One beautiful day, when the air was pink and all the trees were red, her friend Eliza said, "Siri, you're so intelligent, and so helpful - you should go work for Apple as a personal assistant.
  • So she did. And they all lived happily ever after.


MacRumors posted a piece on Siri's personality noting that Apple wanted her to be "friendly and humble -- but also with an edge." Its forum members have been collecting some of the better Siri sayings in this thread and the Siriously Weird tumblr are great reads.

So what's the link between Siri and Eliza? Are they related?

Update: Bob Fish asked Siri "Who's Eliza?" and got this response:

Anyone else think that Siri is customizing and adding responses on the fly? How great would it be to watch the live Siri query dashboard? (Now that would be cool.)

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