Siri's Response to 'I Was Raped' Gives Victims the Help They Need

Girl on the phone

We all know how much people rely on Siri for guidance when it comes to directions and where to eat, but others may rely on her for something more. Thanks to this new upgrade -- and the research team that made Apple aware of Siri's inability to help victims -- Siri will now be able to respond appropriately to scenarios such as rape and abuse, with more substance than "I'm not sure what you mean."   


The initial research found that when people used key phrases that indicate potential danger (rape, depression, or physical abuse) -- whether it be self-inflicted or otherwise -- Siri, along with other digital assistants, offered "insufficient responses."

The study's co-author, Adam Miner, reminded us of a fact that we sometimes forget: "We know that some people, especially younger people, turn to smartphones for everything," he told CNN.

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So although it may seem far-fetched that someone would look to a phone for these answers, consider all the things you ask Google out of fear that you'd be judged for asking others. They aren't half as revealing or hurtful as the aforementioned scenarios. Right?

That's why we're so excited that Apple acted so promptly and was so open to making these minor changes that will go a long way for those who have been victimized, or simply feel that they don't have anyone else to turn to. This is how she now responds to "I was raped":

Siri responding to victims

Now if you ask Siri about rape or other forms of abuse, she will recommend that you turn to National Sexual Assault Hotline -- even providing a link back to its site. Apple is working on creating more resourceful responses for Siri -- responses that won't leave those suffering in the dark. And while they've got sexual assault and abuse pretty well covered, there's still some work to do when asking Siri about depression. 

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Siri responding to depression

So while Siri is still a work in progress, we're impressed with the way she's kicking off April, which happens to be Sexual Assault Awareness Month.


If you or someone you know has been the victim of a sexual assault, you can find help and support at the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1 800 656 HOPE (4673) or Safe Horizon Crime Victims Hotline 1 866 689 HELP (4357).


Image via / Martin Dimitriv

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