Apple recently announced that Siri, the personified electronic assistant that lives in your iPhone, is now capable of responding to self-harm references. Now, instead of directing users to nearby bridges, she actually provides the phone number to suicide prevention hotline. From Apple Insider:
When the iOS digital assistant Siri is presented with a user that indicates he or she is considering suicide, the program will offer to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline [NSPL]. Before this most recent addition, Siri would show the locations of centers but not offer to call them.
I beg to differ on that last sentence — last year, for the life of me, I couldn’t get Siri to pull up any suicide prevention center locations.
But let’s disregard that for now and focus on that first sentence. Apple has “taught” Siri how to respond to suicide-related questions and statements — excellent. I’m honestly thrilled, and I commend Apple for their decision to work this feature into her electronic architecture.
Still, this new version of Siri needs some serious work. While she’s great at handling requests that contain the trigger words/phrases like “suicide” and “kill myself”, she’s a dopey hunk of metal if you profess, in slang, the desire to end your life: