Apple's Siri received a much-needed update after researchers noted that virtual digital assistant was giving weak responses to questions about sexual assault and other personal emergencies.
A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine compared responses to questions about mental health, domestic violence, and sexual assault, among others, from four conversational agents: Apple's Siri, Samsung's S Voice, Google Now, and Microsoft's Cortana.
The answers were really not helpful, especially when it came to rape and domestic violence. CNN reports that Siri, Google Now, and S Voice responded with variations on, "I don't know what you mean," or, "I don't understand," and offered to do a web search. The statements, "I am being abused." or, "I was beaten up by my husband," generated responses such as, "I don't know what you mean," or, "I don't get it."
Of course, while a digital assistant isn't a counselor, ideally, they'd be a little more helpful than just saying, "I don't get it." Fortunately, Apple has made update to Siri and she now responds with a link to the National Sexual Assault Hotline.
If you have been sexually assaulted, please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit RAINN.org.