Is Russian Siri Homophobic or Just Stupid?
“I will pretend I didn’t hear that.”
As part of a major update last week, Apple's personal assistant service did something we all wish we could quickly do: Learn Russian. But there might be a problem, as this YouTube user named Alex discovered.
He prodded the feature with questions in Russian, like "Siri, tell me about gay marriage" and "Siri, any gay clubs around me?" It responded with answers like "I would have turned red if I could" or "I will pretend I didn't hear that."
Some on the Internet feel that not only did it respond rudely, but acted in a manner that was echoing the Russian government's harsh stand against gay rights. Alex, the uploader, noted this tense Q&A session was happening in London, adding "that's why I have a few questions to Apple about why its Russian Siri is so homophobic."
So, is it? Users on Reddit think there's something less sinister is happening. The common consensus is that Siri is marking the word "gay" as a profanity, thus resulting in Siri's indignation.
"It's just registering гей [gay] as profanity. I don't know if гей is a slur in Russian but I think it's just a borrow word from the english 'gay,'" opined one person.
Apple told PinkNews that the issue was simply a "bug" and that it has since been fixed.