Siri, should I believe in God?

Source: Chicago Tribune

BY Timothy Carone

Ask Siri whether you should believe in God and you’ll receive the reply, “I would ask that you address your spiritual questions to someone more qualified to comment. Ideally, a human.” Or, “It’s all a mystery to me.” Or the too-cute, “I believe in the separation of Silicon and spirit.”

Not surprising answers, given the nature of the question. Why should Apple put itself in the middle of a centuries-old discussion?

Apple’s Siri is a virtual intelligent assistant, but there is nothing intelligent about Siri or its peers, such as Microsoft’s Cortana, Google’s Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa. Virtual assistants are not conscious and do not “think” like humans. Their machine-learning software has enabled them to provide greater high-value content to humans. They are getting better at understanding the idiosyncrasies of people’s voices, accents and colloquial speech. A person can carry out a conversation with these devices giving the appearance of intelligence and consciousness.

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