Spanish Siri labels Bolivian president a ‘dictator’

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Spanish Siri labels Bolivian president a ‘dictator’
Siri's getting political. (Until Apple fixed it.)
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Siri is in trouble again — or, at least, Siri’s Spanish-speaking cousin. According to a new report, the Spanish language version of Siri has been criticized for describing long-standing Bolivian president Evo Morales as a “dictator.”

Morales recently won a controversial fourth presidential term in Bolivia. However, thousands of citizens have marched across the country decrying voter fraud. It seems that Spanish language Siri was spiritually among them.

When asked in Spanish, Siri said that, “The dictator of Bolivia” is Evo Morales. Siri described Morales as president in the English version. The issue was rectified after Apple was notified about it by Reuters.

Dictators and homophobia: Problems on the Siri front

This isn’t the first time one of Siri’s answers has caused problems. For years, users asking about abortion centers were directed toward adoption centers. Apple finally changed this in 2016.

More recently, an issue with the Russian version of Siri seemingly resulted in it expressing homophobic sentiments. Siri reported refused to answer questions about gay bars. It also declined to talk about gay marriage. Asking Siri to “tell me about gay marriage” was met with the response “you are so rude.” The issue was soon fixed.

It’s not clear exactly what causes issues like this. In the case of foreign language Siri answers, it could be something to do with farming the work out to third-party native speakers. Like the Easter Eggs Apple coders used to add, they may sneak these into the programming.

Apple does chime in on political issues more under Tim Cook than it did previously. But it’s highly unlikely that Apple would take the step of damning a president as a “dictator.” Especially since English Siri did not answer in the same way.

Have you noticed any strange details like this on Siri? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Reuters