Siri gets Election Day date wrong, Apple fixes issue

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2020
Apple's Siri voice assistant on Tuesday returned incorrect information regarding the date of Election Day in the U.S., though the problem was quickly rectified.


Source: Lucas Matney via Twitter


Earlier today, Siri informed users that Election Day was on "November 8th," an obviously incorrect response that appears to trace back to a backend data issue.

As noted by TechCrunch, telling Siri, "Happy Election Day," invoked a message that read, "Thanks! But Election Day is on November 8th." Queries asking the assistant to recite the date of Election Day returned similar results.

Apple has since fixed the problem. It appears that Siri lacked contextual data for the call-and-response questions, as the report notes an election day does fall on Nov. 8. Specifically, the next major U.S. election takes place on Nov. 8, 2022.

Siri, like all virtual assistants, has gone through its fair share of growing pains. While the technology has matured significantly from the fledgling service launched in 2011, it still suffers from sporadic, one-off errors like today's Election Day gaffe.

Apple continues to add to Siri's feature set, and with the latest iOS 14 introduced new capabilities like audio messages, deeper Apple Maps integration and more. Siri's knowledge graph has also expanded, with Apple claiming the assistant now has access to 20 times more facts than it did three years ago.

Keep up with all the Apple news with your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Say, "Hey, Siri, play AppleInsider Daily," -- or bookmark this link -- and you'll get a fast update direct from the AppleInsider team.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,807member
    Oops.

    I guess we should consider ourselves lucky that we seemed to have survived a daylight saving time to standard time clock rollback without any major issues on our Apple devices. At least I have not heard of any issues. It seemed like for several years the transition between these time standards always caused a certain amount of temporary disruption in the inner working of the little brains in our Apple devices.
    michelb76
  • Reply 2 of 11
    Interesting. 

    I wonder if this happened to everyone or...

    if Apple, like Facebook determines you are a conservative or liberal 

    and if so, which side this little gem affected. 


    cat52cornchip
  • Reply 3 of 11
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,102member
    Can’t even say it was a dateline issue!
  • Reply 4 of 11
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,712member
    Interesting. 

    I wonder if this happened to everyone or...

    if Apple, like Facebook determines you are a conservative or liberal 

    and if so, which side this little gem affected. 
    Take off the tin foil hat, it's pretty clear that this was due to a pretty simple error in date checking, where it was looking for the 'next' election date but not including the 'current' date in the calculation.  I've seen simple errors like this hundreds of times, they aren't malicious.
    dewme
  • Reply 5 of 11
    crowley said:
    Interesting. 

    I wonder if this happened to everyone or...

    if Apple, like Facebook determines you are a conservative or liberal 

    and if so, which side this little gem affected. 
    Take off the tin foil hat, it's pretty clear that this was due to a pretty simple error in date checking, where it was looking for the 'next' election date but not including the 'current' date in the calculation.  I've seen simple errors like this hundreds of times, they aren't malicious.
    "But, but, but, it must be malicious!  After all, Apple is a decadent evil capitalist overlord; everything they do is, by definition, malicious." /s
    dewmelkrupp
  • Reply 6 of 11
    Separate from the political issue, technical speaking Siri needs a LOT more work and depth in understanding language and requests.
    its a known fact that Apple is behind in this aspect, maybe in IOS 15....who knows :-)
  • Reply 7 of 11
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,661member
    dewme said:
    Oops.

    I guess we should consider ourselves lucky that we seemed to have survived a daylight saving time to standard time clock rollback without any major issues on our Apple devices. At least I have not heard of any issues. It seemed like for several years the transition between these time standards always caused a certain amount of temporary disruption in the inner working of the little brains in our Apple devices.
    When I woke up, my phone was still an hour ahead.  Took a few minutes before it read the correct time.  
  • Reply 8 of 11
    crowley said:
    Interesting. 

    I wonder if this happened to everyone or...

    if Apple, like Facebook determines you are a conservative or liberal 

    and if so, which side this little gem affected. 
    Take off the tin foil hat, it's pretty clear that this was due to a pretty simple error in date checking, where it was looking for the 'next' election date but not including the 'current' date in the calculation.  I've seen simple errors like this hundreds of times, they aren't malicious.
    Hi don’t wear one thanks. It’s why I was far less dogmatic than you. 

    But in light of what’s been revealed with various tech org censorship, outright lies and even FBI corruption, etc. etc. this is not a reach. 

    Especially since ANY source you go to date check (let’s not forget Apple has Apple news as a great aggregate source in addition to google, the ENTIRE rest of the web, etc.) way too ridiculous to be dismissed as a “clear example of [insert dismissal excuse here].” 

    I think it’s time you looked in the mirror. You might spot some extra tin adornment yourself. 
    cat52razorpit
  • Reply 9 of 11
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,712member
    crowley said:
    Interesting. 

    I wonder if this happened to everyone or...

    if Apple, like Facebook determines you are a conservative or liberal 

    and if so, which side this little gem affected. 
    Take off the tin foil hat, it's pretty clear that this was due to a pretty simple error in date checking, where it was looking for the 'next' election date but not including the 'current' date in the calculation.  I've seen simple errors like this hundreds of times, they aren't malicious.
    Hi don’t wear one thanks. It’s why I was far less dogmatic than you. 

    But in light of what’s been revealed with various tech org censorship, outright lies and even FBI corruption, etc. etc. this is not a reach. 

    Especially since ANY source you go to date check (let’s not forget Apple has Apple news as a great aggregate source in addition to google, the ENTIRE rest of the web, etc.) way too ridiculous to be dismissed as a “clear example of [insert dismissal excuse here].” 

    I think it’s time you looked in the mirror. You might spot some extra tin adornment yourself. 
    If you seriously give any credence to the idea that Apple or someone at Apple was trying to influence the election by having Siri giving a clearly wrong and easily disprovable to a question then you are frankly off your rocker.  The fact that there's a very obvious explanation (though a trifle on the dumb mistake side) is just the icing on the cake.

    Hanlon's razer.  Always.

    And I'm hungry.
    edited November 2020
  • Reply 10 of 11
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,833member
    ajl said:
    The Italian Siri makes me get nuts when, during the evening before, I ask "her" to set the alarm to the next morning. At the request like "Siri, set the alarm at 5 am" or "Siri, wake me up at 6 am", Siri promptly asks me at what time I'd like to be woke up. I've figured out that Siri set the alarm as requested If I make my request during the morning before.

    I issue that request frequently, and she gets it right every single time. Although the wording "set the alarm AT 5am" is not how we say it in North America.... that suggests that she should perform the action of setting the alert "at 5 am" to some other time (which wasn't specified in your request, hence why she may be asking). We would say "Set the alarm FOR 5 am."
    edited November 2020
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