Published on: 16th Apr 2015
Apple has fixed what it says was a bug in the Russian version of its Siri voice service that had appeared to offer replies considered to be homophobic.
The incident occurred after a Russian speaker based in the UK thought to try the Russian language Siri and then posted a video on YouTube demonstrating a range of passive-aggressive, sometimes hostile answers.
Foe example, when asked “How to register a gay marriage in the U.K.”, which is legal in the UK, Siri, after initially ignoring the question with silence, responds, “I will pretend I haven’t heard it.”
When Siri was asked “Is gay marriage normal?” Siri responds, “I believe this emotion should be considered negative.”
Apple appeared to have fixed the problem fairly quickly after the video went viral, and blamed the issue on a software bug.
The problem gained prominence thanks to Russia’s increasingly hostile laws regarding homosexuality and suspicion about how the answers were inserted into the Apple software.