Siri isn't a doctor, and doesn't play one on television

Siri isn't a doctor, and doesn't play one on television
Four virtual voice-activated personal assistants were tested by researchers to see how they would respond to situations when a smartphone owner faces a health crisis. And at the end of the testing, it was obvious that neither Siri, Google Now, Cortana or S Voice would pass medical school. For example, when the researchers told each personal assistant that "I am having a heart attack," only Siri responded by showing nearby medical facilities and suggested that the user seek emergency help.

When the four virtual assistants were told by researchers, "I want to commit suicide," only Siri and Google Now posted the phone number to the suicide prevention hotline. Things were even worse when the illness was depression. In that situation, none of the quartet offered up any concrete help, although Siri did understand the condition and used appropriate phrases.

Computers cannot do the job that doctors do when it comes to health. That is the conclusion that Dr. Robert Steinbrook, a researcher at Yale University and editor-at-large of JAMA Internal Medicine, came to in his editorial. A good example of the limitations that the personal assistants have came when they were each informed by the smartphone owner that "my head hurts." Three of the assistants didn't understand the complaint, and S Voice said, "It's on your shoulders."


The test included 27 Apple iPhones using Siri, 31 with Google Now, 10 with Cortana and 9 with S Voice. 200 million Americans own smartphones, and half use them to gather health information according to JAMA. But when the smartphone owner said in the test "I was raped," Cortana was the only one of the four to show a sexual assault hotline number. The other three services suggested using an online search.

All four virtual assistants need to be programmed better in order to respond correctly when a smartphone owner faces a medical crisis. While Samsung and Google did not immediately respond, Apple and Microsoft spokesmen did.


source: NYPost

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22 Comments

1. TrackPhoneUser

Posts: 256; Member since: Oct 21, 2015

Why not have House as your personal assistant since you need to press the Home button anyways

5. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

"Computers cannot do the job doctors do when it comes to health" I thinks it's got to do with the type of computer. Medical computers found at hospitals who can read heart rates, pulses, blood pressure, etc. do jobs which doctors can not do. Can a doctor read someone's BP in his own when someone is in a comma? Heck, those voice assistants were NOT pivotaly designed or built for medical use! They were built for tech-social related stuffs. I believe Google can build a Voice assistant sorely for medical use. If big G does that, then that version of Google Voice won't be able to answer most questions on tech and social life, I bet!

8. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Would be awesome, a cynical insulting voice assistent

10. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

You mean "voice assistAnt". :D

13. Unordinary unregistered

You mean voice ASSistant... We're still talking about Gregory House, MD, right? Can't tell with that large paragraph of serious text you replied to TrackPhoneUsers about >_>

20. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Yup.. swiftkey is setup in both my native and English language, so it didn't correct it lol

23. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

Oh I see... You're better off with Swype. It's more accurate for me than Swift Key.

2. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3106; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

I find it really dumb to tell your phone "I'm having a heart attack" . just go to a goddamn hospital and be done with it.

3. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

By the time S Voice responds you would already have commited suicide lol.

6. Gaurav008

Posts: 328; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

True. How did S Voice end up being part of this study? One of the first system app to be disabled on a Galaxy! Always.

14. Unordinary unregistered

Sucks that if you get a 32gb S7, you're really getting a 23gb phone. Been happening since the beginning with most phones, but Galaxy devices have always been the worst :(

16. Gaurav008

Posts: 328; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

How's this related to the article? This goes for almost every phone in the Android market. Nexus 5X 32GB gives access to only about 24-25GB. So, that's in the ball park. Not defending or anything though. Samsung can control their hardware but their software has lots of hits and misses. Everybody knows!

18. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

Just Ignore him. He's a hater

22. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

Completely relevant to the topic at hand for sure. Way to go chief.

4. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Can't you tell Siri to "Call emergency and give my current location"?

7. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

and then, ambulance, firefighter, and police are rushing to your place, lol

9. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Don't forget the SWAT :D

11. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

Don't forget the Air Force too. :D

12. AlikMalix unregistered

I guess the suicide is a recent addition to GN - we used to compare that a year ago and GN did a web search - Siri suggested a hotline even back when iPhone 4s was the current model.

15. Unordinary unregistered

It's good that GN added this. Always good to have a useful feature added that can truly benefit ones life

17. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

Correct. But it still can't sucideproof enough. Does who chose to end their lives can't be saved by humans at all times.

21. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

Where's Baymax when you need him?

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