Siri was the first great virtual assistant to reach the masses. Introduced with the iPhone 4s, over the years it has learned more and more functions, with artificial intelligence being its main feature. But how does Apple define what character to give this artificial intelligence to Siri? A document leaked last week reveals some of the keys, as well as the possible existence of a new device with Siri.
According to a document obtained by The Guardian (after the Siri wiretap controversy), Apple has designed Siri to be as neutral as possible . The document shows how Siri manages to get out of trouble whenever she is asked about controversial issues. In order not to get into controversy, she sometimes even offers unsatisfactory or general answers so as not to get into the subject too much.
The Guardian shows as an example the issue of feminism. If the Apple assistant is asked if she is a feminist she will answer with an answer that avoids answering directly or that does not claim that she is (or is not) a feminist. For example “I firmly believe in equality and respect in the treatment of people”. On the contrary, Alexa or Google Assistant do clearly indicate that they are. On other issues such as homosexuality or racism she has no direct opinion.
As a curiosity, the filtered document also explains how the Siri ethics should work . In doing so, it makes use of the laws of robotics of science fiction author Isaac Asimov. In addition to the three laws of robotics, he also has some accounts specifically created for Siri’s behaviour guide. For example:
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The answers and the general nature of Siri are especially important when we consider that is an assistant used daily by millions of people . A response with an ideological or balanced position on one side more than on the other can not only create controversy, but controversy for the company itself.