Apple rewrote Siri’s script to deflect questions on topics such as feminism or the #metoo. The move was revealed in internal Apple documents leaked to the Guardian.
Need to be ‘Neutral’
Siri “should be guarded when dealing with potentially controversial content” according to the documentation, updated in June 2018. It said questions “can be deflected … however, care must be taken here to be neutral.”
In a statement responding to the leak, Apple said:
Siri is a digital assistant designed to help users get things done. The team works hard to ensure Siri responses are relevant to all customers. Our approach is to be factual with inclusive responses rather than offer opinions.
‘Siri doesn’t have a point of view’
As well as the AI-assistant’s answers on sensitive topics, the leaked guidelines explained:
In nearly all cases, Siri doesn’t have a point of view.
The documents explained that the tool is “non-human”, “incorporeal”, “placeless”, “genderless”, “playful”, and “humble.” They also revealed that even Siri does not know its true origin, “but it definitely wasn’t a human invention.”
The documents are said to have come from a former ‘Grader.’ Apple recently had to announce major changes to its grading programme after it emerged millions of voice requests had been listened to by such people.