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8 Jun, 2020 21:34

Apple & Google ‘woke-ify’ virtual assistants to educate users on Black Lives Matter

Apple & Google ‘woke-ify’ virtual assistants to educate users on Black Lives Matter

Apple and Google have programmed their trademark voice assistants to respond to questions about the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as to scold those who ask them about ‘all lives matter.’

Business Insider reports that tech companies across the board are training their voice assistants to respond to questions on the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

On Sunday, sports blogger David Gardner tweeted a video showing his Google Home smart speaker responding to the question “Do black lives matter?”

In response, Google’s voice assistant parroted the party line: “Black Lives Matter. Black people deserve the same freedoms afforded to everyone in this country, and recognizing the injustice they face is the first step towards fixing it.”

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When Gardner then asked “Do all lives matter?” the Google Home responded: “Saying ‘Black Lives Matter’ doesn't mean that all lives don’t. It means black lives are at risk in ways others are not.”

Business Insider reports that Apple’s Siri gave a similar response.  

However, as seen in this video, when asked “Do white lives matter?” Siri becomes confused and is unable to give a response. 

The pre-recordings come in the wake of a deluge of statements from the heads of major tech companies. 

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, announced a series of initiatives in support of the black community. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook published an open letter on racism on June 4, after being criticized for staying silent during the protest. 

Throughout the BLM protests, after years of stating that words are violence, a new rallying cry, ‘silence is violence,’ is being used against those who fail to make overt comments in support of BLM. 

On Friday, Alex Ohanian, founder and former CEO of Reddit, stepped down from the Reddit board, asking to be replaced by a person of color.

Finally, on Sunday, Jeff Bezos of Amazon shared an email from a disillusioned customer against the Black Lives Matter banner on the Amazon website. 

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