“Siri is not a feminist” shocker

On the one hand, why would anyone ask Siri about feminism in the first place? On the other hand, people are people and will do whatever silly thing comes into their heads, so Siri should say “That’s not my department” and leave it at that. But “she” doesn’t.

An internal project to rewrite how Apple’s Siri voice assistant handles “sensitive topics” such as feminism and the #MeToo movement advised developers to respond in one of three ways: “don’t engage”, “deflect” and finally “inform”.

The project saw Siri’s responses explicitly rewritten to ensure that the service would say it was in favour of “equality”, but never say the word feminism – even when asked direct questions about the topic.

Herp derp. We can tell what’s coming – all lives matter, I don’t see color, all men are created equal.

“Are you a feminist?” once received generic responses such as “Sorry [user], I don’t really know”; now, the responses are specifically written for that query, but avoid a stance: “I believe that all voices are created equal and worth equal respect,” for instance, or “It seems to me that all humans should be treated equally.” The same responses are used for questions like “how do you feel about gender equality?”, “what’s your opinion about women’s rights?” and “why are you a feminist?”.


Bad move, Apple. Just have it say “not my brief.” Don’t have it give a stupid substantive answer.

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