Connected And Oblivious

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October 15, 2011

Blind trust or death wish? One or the other afflicts the many pedestrians using cell phones as they cross busy downtown streets. I see them often while driving in downtown Portland. They don’t see me. The increased risk of getting run over while using phones is well-documented. Now comes Siri, the virtual personal assistant on the new iPhone 4S, who carries out your spoken instructions and answers you. Something tells me that countless more pedestrians, lost in conversation with Siri, will cut themselves off from the dangers around them. Maybe a future iPhone version will empower Siri to shout at distracted pedestrians approaching intersections the most important lesson my father taught me: look both ways.

Update: Siri at beck and call of 4 million buyers after three days of sales.
Update II: Reading samples of Siri’s repartee tells me that the oblivious factor will soar.