Here’s why our phones aren’t as smart as we think they are

Technology might have evolved fast over the years, but there are always a few glitches that make things a little awkward, whether your phone misunderstands your question, or a typo leads you to some questionable results in a search engine. One woman made headlines when her phone’s dictation function went rogue and posted a recording of an entire separate conversation to the comment section of The New York Times. 

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Christine McMorrow is a verified and prolific commenter on the platform, racking up comments on nearly 10,000 posts to date. Because of her longstanding position in The New York Times community, McMorrow’s comments are automatically posted with no vetting process. However, she may now be wishing that things had been a little different.

While trying to comment on a story about the Republican party’s relationship with US president Donald Trump, Christine posted the following comment:

“Zero optimism that the Democrats can ever regain hello hi oh you’re there are you outside oh well let me come to the door I’m icing my knee and I’m hard boiling some eggs I’ll turn them off and then will do our meeting yet out that will be fine I’m Normans outdoing some errands and he knows you’re coming so he’ll just go down to the cave I was down in the Cape myself this morning by getting so let me get up because I’m right now sort of trapped in my chair and then I’ll put the ice pack back on when you get here OK thanks bye-bye.”

While some other commenters were simply confused, others picked up quickly that it sounded like a talk-to-text conversion gone horribly wrong. A few hours later, McMorrow received text messages from family members who had seen the comment circulating on the internet.

McMorrow confirmed that she had been using an “autospeak” function on her iPhone when a friend called on the landline; she’d carried on the conversation, completely unaware that her phone was recording every detail and sending it to the rest of the world.

“I had no idea all that drivel was being recorded—there are even errors in the drivel!” she wrote in a follow-up comment.

McMorrow’s comment has been dubbed “the single best comment of the year” by various publications and individuals, and she told The Boston Globe she was just glad she wasn’t swearing during the conversation. As people started sharing the comment on Twitter, everyone wanted to know how those hard-boiled eggs turned out.

“They came out fine,” McMorrow said. “Obviously my comment was on its way to The New York Times’ website before they finished.”

Has your phone ever embarrassed you in public?