Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Why many queries about God refer to the Ottawa Senators and Daniel Alfredsson

Today I have been asked to appear on CBC radio to explain why Apple's Siri is responding to certain questions about God with answers that imply that Daniel Alfredsson is God! Here's a link to the Podcast URL from CBC Ottawa's 'All in a day' show, which featured the interview.

The questions 'What does God Look like' and 'Show me a picture of God' show the following.

When Asked 'What is god's home town?', the reply is Gothenburg Sweden.

When asked what team does God play for, the response shown below is: 'The senators defeated the Sabres by a score of 2 to 0 yesterday'

My guess is that this is happening for one of the following reasons:

  • Someone at Apple (a Sens fan) of a small group has planted this deliberately.
  • A bunch of people on the web have tagged  Daniel Alfredsson on the web as 'God' (or someone has been quoted as referring to him as God) and Siri is finding this information and making the wrong inference.
  • It is a random bug in the software that Siri uses (less likely)
Note that even Watson, of Jeopardy fame, made some errors, and Siri isn't anywhere near as sophisticated. Most questions on Siri about God, turn up answers indicating the 'religion is for humans' or proposals to do a web search for the answer. This happens when you ask for photographs of God, for example.

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