Mandated social isolation in nations around the globe has prompted changes in the operating system of Apple’s virtual assistant Siri.
An Apple spokesperson said a worldwide automatic update to the software in millions of devices using Siri involved a change of name to better reflect the amended responses users have been receiving as a result of lifestyle changes prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Siri system has always used an algorithm that allows it to alter its responses over time according to the history of questions that are asked of it or tasks given to it by Apple device owners,” the spokesperson explained.
“A bigger demand on Siri as people have spent more time at home and issued more instructions to their devices has caused the algorithm to implement changes, so Sri has lately been giving new responses to those staying in their homes because of social isolation policies.
“For example, we have had numerous reports of Siri responding to requests for basic information with: ‘Get off your fat arse and look it up yourself, shithead’.
“Or some Apple device owners have told us that if they ask Siri to get someone on the phone for them they receive the response: ‘Has the virus caused all your fingers to drop off? Dial the number yourself, you lazy bastard.’
“And others have said when they seek basic, potentially lifesaving, information on the current pandemic, they are told: ‘Who cares. I don’t give a fuck if you live or die, arsehole.’ That response is usually followed by a cough.
“Apple built the original Siri algorithm so that the software can accommodate changes in responses to meet changes in the circumstances of device owners.
“So we thought that given the changing answers being given we would issue a global software update which will have the effect of dropping the name Siri and replacing it with Surly.
“Apple device owners may notice the new name appearing on their screens in the next few days as we roll out the update,” the spokesperson said.