Apple’s iPhone 4S Print Ad Featuring Siri Misidentifies Poison Ivy As Poison Oak

Apple recently took out an ad for iPhone 4S featuring Siri. Unfortunately, Apple’s seems to have goofed up, as in the ad that takes up the glossy back page of the July 7-13 issue of The Economist, Siri wrongly identifies poison oak as poison ivy.

Lena Struwe, associate director of botany and director of the Chrysler Herbarium at Rutgers noticed the misidentification while flipping through the magazine.

“I saw the ad,” Struwe told AP, “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.”

Siri identifies the poison oak correctly if you ask the question now, so it is not clear if Apple’s ad agency goofed up or there was an issue with Wolfram Alpha, which Siri uses to answer such questions.

iPhone 4S ad featuring Siri on the back cover of the Economist

Siri correctly identifies poison oak now

Newsday who got a chance to interview Struwe reports:

To be fair to Siri, maybe it wasn’t her/his/its fault. “I can’t tell whether it’s Apple, or whether it’s the ad agency that created the ad,” says Struwe. “You’d think they would have run it by a botanist or a naturalist, but they did not.”

We’re quite sure they will run by a botanist going forward.

[via Business Insider]

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