Apple Programmed Siri to Deflect Questions About Feminism

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but much like every frat guy you’ve ever met, Siri has been programmed to not talk about feminism.

According to the Guardian, around 2018 an internal program at Apple aimed to rewrite how Siri would respond to “controversial” subjects such as the #MeToo Movement and feminism. People working on the project were advised to find ways for Siri to answer these questions by either not engaging, deflecting the question, or providing a neutral answer. Okay, Siri, who do you think you are, Robert Mueller at a confirmation hearing?

The goal was to make sure that Siri didn’t “take a side” on this issue, but instead would say that she is in favor of human equality, without ever saying the word “feminism.” For example, when asked questions like, “Are you a feminist?” Siri was designed to answer with something like, “I believe that all voices are created equal and worth equal respect,” for instance, or “It seems to me that all humans should be treated equally.” A very Centrist approach, if you will.

Previously when users asked Siri “Are you a feminist?” the app would yield responses such as “Sorry , I don’t really know.”

This information was found in documents that were leaked to the Guardian by someone who worked on the program at Apple. The leaker was one of thousands of workers who were tasked with checking Siri’s responses for accuracy, but Apple ended the program after privacy concerns were raised by the Guardian (employees were privy to people’s personal information when overlooking how people were using Siri).

Apple’s guidelines on the matter seem to consider “feminism” — also known as the radical concept that men and women should be treated equally — a “controversial” subject, and advises Siri to be “guarded when dealing with potentially controversial content.” Prior to the rewrite, Siri handled questions related to gender and equality with answers like “I just don’t get this whole gender thing” and “My name is Siri, and I was designed by Apple in California. That’s all I’m prepared to say,” according to the Guardian.

Apple claims that this sort of programming is to avoid controversy and make sure all users are provided with facts, not opinions. This could also be a response to people’s disapproval of how Siri was handling questions related to sexual harassment in the past. Apple/Siri came under fire after the #MeToo movement when users found that when called a “slut,” Sir would respond, “I’d blush if I could.” Now, the response is, “I won’t respond to that.”

However, even if this program was meant to avoid controversy, its approach ignores some major truths. Feminism exists, and simply avoiding using the word isn’t remaining neutral, it’s remaining ignorant an inaccurate. You can’t talk about equality without talking about feminism; they are intrinsically linked.

Additionally, most people working in tech to design programs like Siri are men. So, having a bunch of dudes come up with ways for a female voice to answer questions about feminism without saying the word is…laughably problematic. This is essentially exacerbating the problem of not having female voices heard in public discourse. And having men find a way for an A.I. to not talk about issues of feminism is certainly not “neutral,” it’s anti-feminist.

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The Apple Card Sounds Like A Billy McFarland Scam

On Monday, Apple hosted a major event at its headquarters in California and made some major announcements about upcoming projects. The most exciting was the official reveal of Apple TV+, the new streaming service that is Apple’s direct competitor to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. They announced some enticing new shows, namely The Morning Show, a drama starring Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carell. It debuts this fall, and I’m basically already counting down the days.

But now that I’ve had a few hours to process my excitement about Reese Witherspoon, it’s time to talk about the other huge announcement Apple made on Monday: they’re making a credit card. I have questions, and so should you. It’s called Apple Card, and while Apple is claiming that Apple Card “completely rethinks everything about the credit card,” I’m juuuust a little skeptical. That’s because this all reminds me way too much of Billy McFarland and his legendary Magnises scam.

Someone at Apple must have watched the Fyre Festival documentary and was like, "THAT. MAKE THAT. THE COOL CREDIT CARD."

— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) March 25, 2019

Let’s look at some of the features and benefits of the Apple Card, shall we?

On the website for Apple Card, the first thing Apple says is “A new kind of credit card. Created by Apple, not a bank.” Okay, so I’m not going to act like I’m the most financially literate person in the world, but is this supposed to be appealing? I already give Apple like half of my money, so why do I want them to have control of my credit card too? It’s not like banks are the good guy here, but is Apple any better?

Apple then says that the card represents “simplicity, transparency, and privacy,” which are all good words I guess. “It’s the first card that actually encourages you to pay less interest.” These sound like great things, but why does Apple want you to pay them less money? I don’t know about all this financial jargon, but I do know that banks make money off credit cards by charging interest (god, I hope I’m right). But the next line is what really got me:

“You can buy things effortlessly, with just your iPhone. Or use the Apple-designed titanium card anywhere in the world.”

A TITANIUM CARD. I bet it feels nice and hefty in your wallet, just like a Magnises card. People will be impressed by the clanking sound it makes when you slam it down on the counter. Here’s the card that is going to make everyone in the world think you’re a billionaire:

After running down the list of exciting features like Apple Cash (it’s basically just a regular rewards program) and great security (boring), Apple finally gets down to the nitty gritty of why there’s not technically a bank involved.

“Every credit card needs an issuing bank. To create Apple Card, we needed a partner that was up for the challenge of doing something bold and innovative. Enter Goldman Sachs. This is the first consumer credit card they’ve issued, so they were open to doing things in a whole new way.

Ah yes, let’s applaud the incredible bravery of Goldman Sachs, who dared to partner with Apple, the company with the world’s highest market value. They’re really stepping out of their comfort zone, so good for them. I’m not an expert on Goldman Sachs, but their Wikipedia page has a “Controversies and legal issues” section four times as long as this article, so I’m not fully convinced that this is some wonderful, groundbreaking partnership that’s totally safe for consumers.

So that’s a full run-down of what Apple’s website says about their new credit card, but this slide from their presentation yesterday is just asking to be memed.

No card number! No signature! A West Village townhouse! FREE tickets to the Met Gala!! Beyoncé will definitely perform at your birthday party!!! So far, Apple hasn’t made any promises about concert tickets that are literally impossible to get, but I’m sure that’s coming in Apple Card Series 2.

Apple Card is scheduled for release sometime this summer, and I can’t wait to see how many dumb rich millennials run out and get one on the first day. Lmk in the comments if you plan on getting an Apple Card, because in about three years I might be making a documentary about scams and need your contact info.

Images: Shutterstock; @parkermolloy, @wnfiv / Twitter; Apple

Your Biggest Conspiracy Theory About The iPhone Is Totally True

No you aren’t crazy. (And savor that because, let’s be real, we usually are crazy.) Apple is actually slowing down older iPhone’s as their batteries age like a real shady bitch. And the people, like a true democracy, have joined together to sue them because it’s an inalienable right that our phones should never die and take selfies forever. Duh.

Instead of letting us put our Girl Scout technology badges to good use and replace the batteries in these phones, Apple is practically forcing us to get off our asses, go to the mall, and buy entirely new phones. It goes without saying, but iPhones are expensive AF and the whole thing feels like a scam preying on our deep fear of one day being a green text.

Of the eight lawsuits being filed against Apple, one is for $999 billion. If the petty betches who filed that suit win, they are obligated to buy us all new iPhones and kira kira apps. They probs won’t win because Apple is like an unbeatable Goliath but we’re pouring one out for the little David’s out there fighting the good fight. 

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Jennifer Aniston & Reese Witherspoon Are Doing A TV Show Together

Friends fans, rejoice. At long last, Jennifer Aniston is heading back to TV, and her costar is none other than Reese Witherspoon, Elle Woods of our hearts and queen of business and Jennifer Aniston’s own younger sister on Friends. The show doesn’t have a name yet, but it’s a drama about morning television and the challenges women in that industry face. (Cue a bunch of old men groaning about how women don’t actually face challenges because a woman ran for president.) Not a ton of details yet, other than that it’s being produced by Apple. Yeah, that Apple.

Apple announced earlier this year that they’re hopping on the original content bandwagon behind Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, so be prepared to steal your friend’s login for yet another streaming service. We weren’t sure how we felt about Apple trying to dominate yet another industry, but we’re really okay with Jen and Reese teaming up, so we won’t complain. Unclear if there will be any cameos from other Friends stars, but we’re not ashamed to say that we’re hoping for a little Ross, Rachel, and Jill moment. Yeah, we’re trash people stuck in the early 2000s.

The last time Reese Witherspoon was involved with a TV project, it was a little show called Big Little Lies that was literally incredible and won like, every award, so hopefully she can work her magic again. There’s no premiere date set for the show yet, but Apple has already committed to two full seasons, so there’s a lot to look forward to. 

Read: The Funniest Things That Ever Happened On ‘Friends’
The 8 Most Important Features On The iPhone X You Need To Know About

On Tuesday, Apple had their annual event where they talk a lot about how they’re the most amazing company ever, and then they unveil a new iPhone that makes the tech world collectively jizz their pants. This year didn’t disappoint. After they spent like 30 minutes talking about how their stores are actually called “town squares” now (barf), they got to the goods: the iPhone X. And it’s beautiful. Here’s what you need to know about the latest offering from Steve Jobs’ ghost the Apple team.

1. X as in 10

In case you were confused, it’s pronounced “iPhone 10.” Apple is obviously too classy for, like, double digit numbers and counting in order, so they went with a Roman numeral. So thanks to that one random teacher in fifth grade who said we would need to know Roman numerals, now we’re finally putting our education to use.

2. The Screen

With the new iPhone, Apple got rid of that pesky home button and extended the screen so it’s edge-to-edge across the entire front. While you’ll have to get used to doing things without a button, now you have more surface area to admire your selfies and stalk potential bros. It’s, like, really pretty.

iPhone X Diary: First impressions from the keynote don’t wow me, but do impress

— 9to5Mac  (@9to5mac) September 13, 2017

3. Selfie Camera Upgrade

The old iPhone selfie camera isn’t terrible, but it’s also highly questionable sometimes, and Apple is here to help in your quest to become a social media thirst trap. The new selfie camera comes with portrait mode, the standout feature from the iPhone 7 that lets you take everything from LinkedIn photos to artistically blurred nudes. This is major, guys, and we are so thankful.

4. Face ID

If scanning your fingerprint was starting to feel really 2014, Apple agreed with you. With the removal of the home button/fingerprint scanner, they had to come up with something new to unlock your phone, and they settled on facial recognition. This shit is supposed to be like 10 times more secure than the fingerprint, so your important documents (screenshots that could end relationships/careers/lives) are safer than ever. 


5. Talking Emojis

We’re not sure if this sounds like fun or our worst nightmare. Using the facial recognition software, Apple also animated some popular emojis, so you can record yourself and it literally turns you into the emoji. Technology is out here saving lives and making the world a better place every damn day, shit is crazy. Nothing will get a boy to respond to you like a stern message from a talking chicken, right?

6. Glass And Shit

The new iPhone has glass on the front and the back, which sounds like a recipe for drunken disaster, but Apple assures us that it’s the most durable glass ever used on a phone. We all have at least one train wreck friend who will really put that to the test. The phone is also water and dust resistant like the 7, so toilets still aren’t an issue, thank god.


7. Wireless Charging

The new iPhone is the first to have wireless charging capability, where you can just set it down on a special mat and it just does its thing. This sounds cool, but what will we do without seven different charging cords on every side of our bed? It’s going to take some getting used to, but change is good.

8. iOS 11

The new version of iOS is available for everyone next week, and it’s a nice upgrade from last year’s edition. Everything just looks cleaner, and there’s a really nice change to control center that lets you customize what you want easy access to. Ugh, why do we like this company so much.

Shut Up And Take My Money

Read: The 8 Best And Cutest Portable Chargers