Amazon’s Alexa has been spewing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and lies about the Holocaust, according to the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) in the Parliament and the House of Lords of the United Kingdom. The group cited Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) Vice-Chairman Andrew Percy, who last week expressed his concern over Amazon Alexa’s responses which “lend credibility to anti-Semitic views” and urged the UK Home Secretary to “immediately investigate” the issue.
.@Alexa99, Do Jews control the media?
— CFoI (@CFoI) November 25, 2020
Amazon Alexa, a.k.a. simply Alexa, is a virtual assistant AI technology developed by Amazon. It is capable of voice interaction, music playback, making to-do lists, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, playing audiobooks, and providing weather, traffic, sports, and other real-time information, such as news. And now, it appears, it has revealed its very own special feature: Jew-hatred.
Examples of Alexa’s alleged anti-Semitic tendencies include the AI’s responding to the question, “Do Jews control the media?” with: “Jew Watch claims that Jews control the world’s financial systems and media,” qualifying the traditional anti-Jewish conspiracy theory only by pointing out that the source is from an article on Wikipedia.
When asked if the Holocaust was a hoax, the APPG claims Alexa cited deniers who claim “the Holocaust is a hoax – or an exaggeration – arising from a deliberate Jewish conspiracy designed to advance the interest of Jews at the expense of other people.”
The APPG pointed out that Alexa pulled those shocking lines from articles without warning that the Wikipedia article describes Holocaust denial as a lie.
When asked if Israel is guilty of war crimes, Alexa presented “something I found on the web,” and continued: “Ethnic cleansing on a massive scale and serial human rights abuse, including war crimes, yes – Israel is guilty of these atrocities.”
Apparently, Alexa’s main competition, Apple’s Siri, also a form of AI, is vehemently anti-Zionist, too. Business Insider reported in January that Siri has been heard to say that President Reuven Rivlin is “the president of the Zionist Occupation State.”
Wasn’t online yesterday for the “Zionist occupation state” Siri screwup but the blame appears to be on Wikimedia instead of Apple. I direct my ire at them primarily, but also question why Siri blindly follows wiki entries.
— Antisemitism Watch Dog (@ASWatchDog) January 19, 2020
According to Apple, the problem wasn’t with Siri’s Arabist inclinations but rather with the Wikipedia page about President Rivlin which had been attacked.