Siri helps save life of teen stranded in Hurricane Harvey flooding


Sorry, Alexa: Siri still the most widespread AI assistant
On this occasion, Siri was a real life lifesaver.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Siri is being credited as helping save the life of a critically-ill teenager in Texas, who was trapped on a roof with her family due to flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.

After calls to 911 and pleas on Facebook and Instagram failed to yield results, the 14-year-old — who suffers from sickle cell anemia — asked Siri for help. Siri proceeded to place calls with the U.S. Coast Guard, which resulted in the family being rescued.

“I was like, ‘Siri’s smart enough! Let me ask her!’ ” 14-year-old Tyler Frank told CNN.

Although the family has been left with no possessions, at least they are alive. The input of Siri is obviously nothing compared to the effects of the rescuers, but it’s a great, heartwarming story of how Apple’s technology can be used by those in need.

Hopefully the various charities and individuals aiding with the Hurricane Harvey rescue efforts will now help the family, and others like them, get on their feet soon.

Apple’s Hurricane Harvey relief

Hurricane Harvey is the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Wilma in 2005. After striking Texas last month, it caused three deaths and the displacement of more than 1,000 people as a result of flooding and high water levels.

As a show of support, Apple has updated its iTunes desktop and mobile storefronts to start accepting American Red Cross donations for the relief efforts. In an open letter to employees, Tim Cook also outlined Apple’s efforts to help — including a $2 million donation to aid those in need.

Apple is additionally offering free repairs to devices damaged in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.