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iPhone Voice Command Is, Um, Racist!

September 3rd, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana


Dear Apple,

Hi! How’s it going? Typing this note on my trusty MacBook, as always. :)

So I was hanging with my dude this week, playing around on his awesome new iPhone 3GS. Holy moly, is that a fun little machine. I foresee us taking many videos of babies, editing them instantly, and sending them to friends. Neat.

I’ve just got one little gripe to make. It’s the Voice Control feature. I think it’s racist. Don’t tell me technology can’t be racist. Trust me, it can. See, Voice Control loves the name “Willis Bullard.” It could call Willis all day long. “G Scott Barrett,” easy as pie.

Here’s a name it hates. Diana Nguyen. And what I really think it hates is the NGUYEN. That is bullshit, Apple! It’s bullshit!

Okay fine, I understand that there are a lot of fuckin’ consonants in that there Vietnamese name, but trust that it was said “en-goo-yen” “ung-yoo-en” “win” “noo-win” “noo-yen” “gnu-yeen”–Egh. I won’t continue. But there have been many permutations attempted. When “Diana Nguyen” is spoken into Voice Control, who does the iPhone want to call? Lots of different white folks. Not me, not the seven people in my family that share my surname and also occupy space in the address book. It totally sucks!

Is there any possible way to fix this, any formula we can apply to get around it? Hey–I’m just trying to help. I’m asking for all of the Nguyens in the world!!

Y’know what? Fuck it. I’ll get real with you. We’re just talking about me here. And it’s a very gentle request. All I’m asking is that iPhone’s Voice Control function gets an update soon that accounts for the last name Nguyen, so that when my boyfriend speaks my name into his phone to call me he doesn’t DIAL HIS EX-GIRLFRIEND FIVE TIMES IN A ROW, WITH THAT CHARMING VOICE COMMAND READING HER NAME–WHICH IS IN NO WAY SIMILAR TO MINE–ALOUD OVER AND OVER, ANNOYING ME MORE AND MORE EACH TIME, MAKING ME WANT TO STAB HIS NEW IPHONE IN ITS MOTHERFUCKING FACE UNTIL IT’S DEAD, MOTHERFUCKING DEAD.

Okay? Okay, cool.

Talk to you soon! Feel free to send me a free MacBook Air or whatever.

xoxo,
Diana

[Apple: Introducing iPhone 3GS]

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