Google, Apple, and Amazon had their voice assistants updated with the only appropriate response to the question, "Do black lives matter?" to voice out their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
The move is proof that tech companies are quick to update their technology so it would align with their values and current events. In a world where voice assistants are part of the norm, they must be able to properly respond to queries no matter the political response. All three companies also updated their voice assistants in order to give accurate responses regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
Users of voice assistants have started taking notice of the new update. On TikTok, for example, members have been posting videos of themselves asking, "Do black lives matter?" and the answers provided to them by Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant. Similar posts have been flooding Twitter as well, praising Google, Apple, and Amazon for their efforts and acknowledging the Black Lives Matter movement.
In addition to providing a response to the question, Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant also promote BlackLivesMatter.com to educate users about the movement. All three voice assistants also have a proper response relating to the phrase "all lives matter," which had been used to downplay the BLM movement.
The responses for Siri and Google Assistant were rolled out last week.
If you ask Siri and Google Assistant, "Do black lives matter?" both give an affirmative response. When asked, "Do all lives matter?" Google Assistant says: "Saying 'black lives matter' doesn't mean that all lives don't. It means black lives are at risk in ways others are not." Siri echoes the same belief and goes on to encourage the user to visit the BLM website.
Microsoft's Cortana has also been updated with the right response for the BLM question and pulls up an entry from Wikipedia when asked about the phrase "all lives matter," which it says is a common rebuttal and a criticism for the BLM movement.
Among the voice assistants, Amazon's Alexa appears to have the firmest and strongest response. It says: "Black lives matter. I believe in racial equality. I stand in solidarity with the Black community in the fight against systemic racism and injustice. To learn how you can take action, I recommend visiting blacklivesmatter.com and NAACP.org."
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Sunday posted on Instagram an email exchange with an angry customer who criticized the company's support of BLM. To reiterate his support for the organization, he referred to the person as the "kind of customer" he'd be "happy to lose."