When Apple’s Siri Called Israel a “Zionist Occupation State”

Siri doesn’t seem to like Israel. Wonder who taught her that…

Apple Siri doesn't seem to like Israel.
Nati Shohat/Flash90

Objectivity is often waved about as a banner of reliability. But the reality is that we humans are inherently subjective. It’s a fact of nature that even the biggest, presumably most neutral organizations can’t escape. Take Apple for instance.

The “Siri” personal assistant that comes preinstalled on all iPhones has become the first stop for many people quickly looking for information on a wide variety of topics.

Last month, one user in the United States asked Siri who is the president of Israel.

Siri correctly responded that Reuven Rivlin in the president in question, but identified him not as the president of Israel, but rather of the “Zionist occupation state.”

Confirming that this was no propaganda stunt by the user himself, a number of other iPhone users quickly asked Siri the same question, and got the same shameful answer.

To Apple’s credit, the mistake was quickly remedied, and within the hour, Siri was correctly identifying Rivlin as the president of Israel.

Still, Apple’s platform is about as airtight as they come. Meaning this was no hack, but rather a response intentionally programmed by someone inside Apple.

While there are no doubt a good many people working at Apple who support the Palestinian cause, and that is certainly their right, abusing a platform supposedly made for everyone to advance a one-sided political agenda is entirely unacceptable.

Unfortunately, Siri continues to stumble in other areas related to Israel and the Middle East conflict.

When asked what is the capital of Israel, Siri plays it safe and, rather than answer directly, returns the results of an Internet search.

She also believes that “Palestine” is already an independent and sovereign state.

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