NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Taking a 14-digit sum with 13 zeroes and multiplying it by itself 100 times yields you a - probably nameless - number with a whole lot of zeroes. Ask the iPhone's Siri what 10 trillion to the 100th power equals and you get a perfect, very basic one-two beat.
"The answer is," Siri says, "one, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero ..."
"I remember the first time I heard it, in my head I automatically did one of these," singer Aaron Boykin said, pretending to bob to an imaginary beat. "My eyebrow went up a little bit, like alright, OK."
Boykin, Edward Chung and Derrick Hicks represent one half of the a cappella group Duwende. Before (and after) Fox 5 called, Duwende had no plans of incorporating Siri into any of their performances. But after watching YouTube videos of beatboxers freestyling on top of Siri's zeroes, Duwende agreed to join others on the Internet and for one studio session welcome Siri into their group.
"Zero, zero, zero, zerooo," Boykin and Hicks crooned over Chung and Siri's beats.
Siri will also cover vocal tracks if you switch on the iPhone's speech function and highlight what you'd like her to say. Fox 5 asked Siri to rap part of "The Originators" by Jaz-O featuring Jay-Z. "My rhymin' and singin' technique is applaudable/livin' in luxury, and it's affordable/no other brother is better than me, the J, the A, the Z/the cream of the crop, and the top of the top/the suckers are tryin to stop," Siri recited in an emotionless drone but with a surprisingly accurate cadence.
Apple programmers likely never intended Siri to beatbox, so musically the software's limited. But in theory any question to which Siri responds with a repeating pattern of numbers, letters or words, a resourceful human beatboxer could use to lay down the base beat of their next track.
"Siri could probably do all of our jobs really well," Chung said.