Siri is helpful for a lot of things — finding a date night spot, directions, and looking up definitions.
But if you wanted to mess with Siri and ask her to define the word ‘bitch,’ you would come across this:
The third definition says (Black slang) for a woman. Excuse me?
Since when is the word bitch owned by Black people?
This is not the first racist technological flub – typing “n*gga house” into Google Maps used to take you to the White House.
Google also had to apologize for tagging photos of Black people as gorillas.
But, as Mashable points out, the fault may not be Apple’s.
If the definitions are coming from Oxford, which it appears they are, both Apple and Google are likely using Oxford’s Dictionaries API, a software layer that allows app developers to tap into the company’s dictionary data. By using Oxford’s API though, developers are forced to rely on the data Oxford University Press provides, which may not be updated at the same time or fashion that it updates its other databases.
A look at Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, which shows older versions of websites, shows that Oxford’s entry for “bitch” listed the offensive definition at one time. That would suggest that while the company has since updated its entry, its Dictionaries API hasn’t pulled the updated definition.
A representative for Oxford University Press, the dictionary’s publisher, didn’t immediately respond to Mashable’s request for comment on the matter.
But, of course, this is why it’s important to make sure that developers of color are in the room when these things are being created. Just saying.
SOURCE: Hello Beautiful, Mashable