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Server-side update makes Siri a stickler for succinctness

Siri is already well known for her wit and willingness to joke, but a recent server-side update has given Apple's digital assistant the ability to tell users they should be more into the whole brevity thing.

Siri can now respond to user requests with quotes, thanks to an apparently recent update, and users that are overly wordy will get a response that tactfully tells them so. The brevity commentary was first noted by a visitor to the social news site Reddit, and the quote responses first showed up on iLounge.

Faced with a long or rambling question, Siri will present the user with a choice quote from William Strunk, Thomas Jefferson, or MASH's Hawkeye. The Jefferson and Hawkeye quotes go by quickly enough, but Siri's Strunk-derived riposte is 30 words long and can take as long for her to read aloud as the request Siri's correcting.

The responses encouraging brevity are just the latest in a number of Siri updates aimed at giving the virtual assistant a "personality." The team behind Siri meant for the feature to "forge an emotional tie" with customers. To that end, they gave Siri a catalogue of witty responses to deliver, as well as a supply of jokes. When some of Siri's more awkward answers have attained notoriety on the Internet, the team has updated the assistant to give punchier responses.