Well, not really. And this Guardian piece by Tom Dart should be taken with several grains of salt, like all journalism about language. Still, some interesting stuff there; it starts with an anecdote about a Texan trying to communicate with Siri and failing, and goes on:
The upshot of this brief and decidedly unscientific experiment is that Siri is at her best when addressed in standard English, with accents toned down and slang avoided where possible.
The writer Julia Reed came to a similar conclusion in an essay for the latest issue of the southern lifestyle magazine Garden & Gun, when she turned to dictation apps after breaking her left elbow in New Orleans. She wrote:
Like the iPhone’s highly temperamental Siri, Dragon and the rest of the dictation apps I tried steadfastly refused to understand pretty much everything I had to say. Apparently none of [Dragon’s] coders have spent a natural minute below the Mason-Dixon Line. A smart person could make a lot of money by inventing a Siri for Southerners.
[…] “Most people have what we would call a telephone voice, so they actually change away from their local family accent when they’re speaking on the telephone to somebody they don’t know,” said Alan Black, a Scottish computer scientist who is a professor at the Language Technologies Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
They also have a “machine voice”, he said. “People speak to machines differently than how they speak to people. They move into a different register. If you’re standing next to somebody in an airport or at a bus stop or something, you can typically tell when they’re talking to a machine rather than talking to a person.”
Black speculated that “one of the reasons they designed Siri to be fundamentally a polite, helpful agent who isn’t your friend but works for you, is to encourage people to be somewhat polite and explicit to her, rather than being very colloquial. Because speech recognition is always hard when you drop into colloquialisms.” […]
Black thinks that in coming years, programs such as Siri will go from being aloof in style to more familiar, understanding your language patterns as if they were a close friend rather than a casual acquaintance.
Who knows? The future’s not ours to see; que sera, sera! But it’s fun to think about. (Thanks, Kobi!)