"When the virtual assistant first launched in early 2010, it was a standalone iPhone app called Siri created by a 24-person startup with the same name, a company Apple would later acquire. Back then, Siri boasted an even more irreverent tone — and a more robust set of skills. Like fiction writers dreaming up a character, Dag Kittlaus, Siri’s co-founder and chief executive, and Harry Saddler, a design expert, had carefully crafted the assistant’s attitude and backstory. It was to be “otherworldly,” “vaguely aware of popular culture” and armed with a “dry wit,” Kittlaus says. Ask it about gyms, and Siri sent back a mocking, “Yeah, your grip feels weak.” Ask, “What happened to HAL?” — the brainy (and murderous) talking computer that starred in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 thriller “2001: A Space Odyssey” — and it delivered a sullen, “I don’t want to talk about it.” In those days, Siri still had “fuck” in its lexicon."