When I listen to someone else’s anguish, I want to make sure it’s real.
I heard, you see, that some Canadians were complaining that they were asking Siri to find them prostitutes and she was sending them to an eSports bar.
As the Toronto Star reports, Alvin Acyapan, co-owner of Toronto’s Meltdown eSports Bar says he kept getting mysterious phone calls late last year.
One finally told him he had asked Siri for “prostitutes” and the bar’s number was the one Siri offered.
Acyapan theorized that Siri confuses “escorts” with “eSports”. This is easily done, of course.
So I thought I’d try a variety of questions to see how Siri would answer me. Purely in the spirit of research, you understand.
First: “Siri, I need the nearest prostitutes.”
Siri’s reply: “The AFK Gamer Lounge.” This is, she helpfully explained, 49 miles from my house. Which seems not only awkward, but painfully inaccurate with respect to my actual question.
So I tried: “Siri, I need the nearest escort service.” Siri came back with the AFK Gamer Lounge.
This was odd. I sank to more colloquial vernacular with the same essential question. Still, Siri recommended the AFK Gamer Lounge all over again.
One might conclude, therefore, that Siri believes gamers are prostitutes. Or that gamer lounges are all covers for prostitution rackets. Or that someone at Apple is enjoying a little amusement at prostitute-seekers’ expense.
Apple, sadly, didn’t offer me a reply to my inquiry as to why its artificial intelligence was turning this trick.
Of course, some might wonder why people are so lazy or blasé that they choose to ask Siri to find their carnal joys. Is there no more decorous way to achieve the aim?
Still, I asked Siri why she was sending me to gamer lounges instead of prostitutes.
“Is that what you think?” she replied.
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