Siri, Meet Guru

Computerized, voice-activated personal assistants like Siri and Cortana can do a lot to get you information and answer fact-based questions. But until now, there hasn’t been an application that could answer the real, deep questions you are asking yourself all the time, questions that require decisions.

Siri and Cortana can answer things like:

  • What time is it?
  • What’s the weather forecast?
  • Where am I, and whose pants am I wearing?

Gathering information from other applications and online data networks, they answer all kinds of factual questions, and even help you do basic things like buy movie tickets. You can ask them for information and make your decisions from there, or you can ask them to do something you’ve already decided. But how about an app that can make the decisions for you?

Meet Guru, a new voice-activated personal assistant from the Tao Computer Company, Ltd. Guru is designed just for decision-based questions, and thus will make your life infinitely easier. While other applications give you facts, everyone knows the hardest thing in life is decision-making, and now you can let the computer do it for you.

For instance, the traditional personal assistants could answer a question like:

Siri, who’s prettier, Sarah or Rachel?
[Obviously Rachel, what are you, blind?]

But now you can ask Guru:

Guru, should I ask Sarah to marry me, or dump her and run off with Rachel?
[You’d better ask Sarah. You know, pretty girls make graves.]

Siri might explode if you ask him/her that question, but Guru isn’t the slightest bit phased.

Consider another example:

Cortana, what’s the answer to life, the universe, and everything?
[This one was solved a long time ago, Jim. It’s 42.]

But now you can ask Guru:

Guru, should I destroy the world with nuclear weapons, or try to make peace with neighbouring countries? And if I lose the war, should I accept punishment for my wrongs or commit suicide just before they arrest me?
[You’d better learn to play nice with the other children. But don’t ask me about suicide just yet.]

So how do you get Guru on your phone or computer? Unfortunately, it is too large to download through existing broadband infrastructure. But it can be obtained — it just takes some work.

To get Guru, you need to travel to Turkey by boat and find the woman with the comb in her hand, who will direct you to a vehicle that will drive you to the base of a desert mountain which you must climb on foot with only a staff and a pair of sandals. When you reach the summit, you will meet a small man who holds a large solid-state disk which contains the software. He will install it for you and exhort you to use it wisely.

Other questions Guru can answer:

  • What should I do if my parents say I can’t go to the party?
  • Should I cheat my way through medical school?
  • What should I wear to the meeting today?
  • Should I ask my boss for a raise, and for how much?
  • Should I attend my 25th high school reunion or just pretend I didn’t see the invitation?
  • Where should I go for vacation this year?
  • Should I divorce Sam, or just keep cheating on him? Or should I try to keep my wedding vows?
  • Should I drink my worries away or seek professional help?
  • Should I cut down my neighbour’s encroaching tree branches?
  • Should I gamble away my life’s earnings, or save up for a new house?
  • Should I trust my doctor/mechanic/barber/bartender, or get a second opinion before an invasive surgical procedure?
  • Should I follow Jesus or Buddha?
  • Should I buy American, European, or Asian?

If you haven’t got Guru yet, you can post a question in the comments section and we’ll ask Guru for you.


Image by Mooseblaster, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.


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