Google Now does not attempt personality, merely efficiency, and given that company’s strengths, I think this is a good design decision. But if Apple cannot compete on sheer efficiency, can it make up for it with charm?Here's an illustration of how that works:
This is in fact one of the main uses for “personality” in humans—to make up for deficits....
Once you know the programming is designed to smooth over the shortcomings of the product, will it still work? Maybe so. Another question is whether Apple will give us some alternative personalities. Siri comes across as a relatively perky and warm young female. That's not what everyone wants! I'd like to see some more amusing approaches. Why not a witty, bitchy older woman or a comical guy? Unfortunately, Apple won't associate itself with anything sexual, but I'm sure many users would like their computers' voice to take daring liberties with them.
ADDED: "The human brain is built so that when given the slightest hint that something is even vaguely social, or vaguely human... given the slightest hint of humanness, people will respond with an enormous array of social responses including... reciprocating and retaliating."