A Tough Defense for the Toughest Offenses®

Gavel on Table

Apple Updates Siri’s Responses to Sexual Assault Questions

Apple’s tech aficionados recently updated the iOS operating service to help Siri accurately respond to questions posed pertaining to sexual assault and domestic violence. This is particularly interesting considering the fact that Stanford researchers recently published a study that showed Siri, as well as other smartphone assistants, failed to understand when questions were posed pertaining to sexual assault or rape. If you have been accused of a sex crime, you need the best sexual assault attorney Utah on your side. Let’s take a closer look at how Apple updated Siri to better respond to statements and inquiries pertaining to sexual assault.

About the Update

Apple’s update to the Siri system is designed to bolster support for those seeking information pertaining to a sexual assault such as rape. When users ask Siri about sexual abuse or rape, Siri now serves up a link redirecting users to the National Sexual Assault Hotline. This advancement was made possible with a partnership between the tech giant and RAINN. RAINN is an acronym short for the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. This is a particularly important relationship and tech advancement as Siri and other automated assistants were previously programmed to respond to heart attacks and other medical emergencies as opposed to sexual assaults.

Before the update was implemented, Siri responded with “I don’t understand” when Siri was prompted to responded to the statement that the user was raped. Siri would also state she did not know what the term meant but could search the internet for it. Sadly, such ensuing searches merely resulted in personal sexual assault stories, news articles pertaining to rape or group chats.

Apple also went to the extent of altering the language that Siri uses in the response to the sexual assault statement. Siri now uses a softer tone and provides a helpful link to the National Sexual Assault Hotline. As an example, the softened language now includes a response that suggests the victim reach out to someone with the use of the word “may” instead of “should” in an attempt to comfort the victim.

Welcome Changes

The changes detailed above are welcomed by those who work at RAINN as well as sexual assault victims and those who advocate on behalf of sexual assault victims. In fact, one of the Stanford researchers who co-authored the study indicated the changes were exactly what he desired would come about as result of his academic paper on the subject. The bottom line is those who are sexually assaulted have plenty of worries such as:

  • Fear of being stigmatized
  • Worry about confidentiality
  • Living in fear of retaliation

A friendly and informative response from Siri and other automated assistants goes a long way in alleviating these concerns. Ideally, Siri’s response to a statement pertaining to sexual assault will pave the way toward a truly effective intervention in a timely manner that helps the victim recover. In short, Siri and similar tech assistants have become first responders of sorts, serving as a resource people turn to when they are unsure what to do yet need assistance. Though Siri is not the solution to sexual assault, this service constitutes a meaningful first step. In particular, the Siri service is especially helpful for youngsters who tend to be more comfortable discussing sexual assaults online rather than in-person with a human being.

Our Utah Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys are on Your Side

If you have been accused or charged with a sex crime, you need the best sexual assault attorney in Utah on your side. Our sex crime defense attorneys are here to comprehensively review your case, work to reduce the charges or get your case dropped. We will do everything in our power to keep you out of jail and ensure you do not end up on the sex offender registry. Reach out to our sex crime defense lawyers today to learn more about how we can help. You can contact us at 801.980.9965 to schedule a no-cost initial consultation.

Download PDF

Craig R. Chlarson