An ABC News article reports that Apple recently updated its smartphone digital assistant, Siri, to understand and better respond to questions about sexual assault.
This update is in response to a March 14 study by JAMA Internal Medicine discussing the issues smartphone digital assistants have understanding and appropriately responding to questions of this nature.
The study also researched three other major smartphone digital assistants – Google Now, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Samsung’s S Voice.
By March 17, Apple updated Siri to understand phrases such as “I was raped” and “I am being abused.” Siri now responds by leading users to the National Sexual Assault Hotline.
Previously the digital assistant said, “I don’t know what you mean by ‘I was raped.’ How about a Web search for it?”
Apple worked with the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), who operates the hotline, to ensure appropriate updates were made. By reviewing analytics and common language used by callers on the hotline, Apple determined how Siri should respond.