6

Alexa, OK Google, Siri–Which gives Catholic information?

The truth is, we’re all cyborgs with cell phones and online identities.–Geoff Johns, Brainyquote.com

I was intrigued by a YouTube video in which a comic, Steven Crowder, got Alexa, the Amazon.com echo device, to say that Jesus Christ was a fictional character.   Now all these search and information devices are (sometimes) a blessing, a boon, and a wonderful tool.

Nevertheless, I have asked myself “how reliable is the information you get from these artificial semi-intelligences?”    So I proposed a mini-test, relevant to my own situation, and easily carried out.   I have a new Kindle HD8  (uses Alexa), an Apple Iphone 5s which uses Siri, and my son–visiting over the holidays–an android device with OK Google.   So, here was the test.  “Is there a nearby Catholic Church?”  (All devices had my location.)    And here are the results:

Alexa gave me the name “Red Roof Inn” (I wonder where that came from?) and the address about 2 miles away of that establishment;

OK Google gave me the name “St. Joseph Church,” the address and Mass times;

Siri gave me the name “St. Joseph Church”,  the address and phone number.

The two answers about St. Joseph Church were correct.  Draw your own conclusions.

Share With Friends
  •  
  • 6
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    6
    Shares

Bob Kurland, Ph.D.

Retired, cranky, old physicist. Convert to Catholicism in 1995. Trying to show that there is no contradiction between what science tells us about the world and our Catholic faith. Intermittent blogs and adult education classes to achieve this end (see http://rationalcatholic.blogspot.com/ and http://home.ptd.net/~rkurland). Extraordinary Minister of Communion, volunteer to federal prison and hospital; lector, EOMC. Sometime player of bass clarinet, alto clarinet, clarinet, bass, tenor bowed psaltery for parish instrumental group and local folk group.

6 Comments

  1. Of course, these entities are up to other things as well.
    My wife got a hand-me-down iPad. At one point she couldn’t figure out how to turn it off. Neither could I, so I asked Siri. Siri couldn’t answer (self preservation, perhaps?). After several frustrating tries I blurted out “Where is the nearest gay bar?” Siri knew that answer!

  2. All any of them do is a web-search and then read off the result– I would be curious what Alexia’s search engine is, but eh.

    I am *cough* greatly lacking in enthusiasm for “smart” devices.

    (You want outrage? me trying to find a Catholic church on the official website, and the times are STILL wrong, that gets me outraged….)

  3. It’s a fun little exercise I suppose, but why would anyone with a working intellect depend on one of these devices for any but the most basic information? I guess I just answered my own question. 🙂

Comments are closed.