Apple’s Siri Voice Assistant Now Provides Coronavirus Advice

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Apple’s Siri is one of the most advanced voice assistant currently available. It can do a lot of things such as checking the weather, traffic, searching for something on the internet, control smart home devices, and many more. Now, Apple is upgrading Siri with advice related to the ongoing threat of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel Coronavirus.

According to the latest report from CNBC, Siri can now provide advices related to the novel Coronavirus. Users can ask the voice assistant questions like “How do I know if I have coronavirus” or “Do I have coronavirus?” and it will offer advice based on their symptoms. This functionality has started reflecting in Siri starting Saturday, last week.

When you first ask Siri about the virus, the voice assistant will ask whether you are experiencing related symptoms, which include fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath. In case if you have extreme or life-threatening illnesses, Siri will advise you to call 911, while if you answer no, it will recommend you wait for such symptoms, and if they appear, you are advised to isolate yourself from others. Links to telehealth apps on the App Store are provided for anyone who can’t currently reach a healthcare provider.

Siri’s answers are being provided from the US’s Public Health Service, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CNBC notes. As of now, the answer appears to be focused on users in the US. However, we can expect to see advices for other countries in the coming days. 

Siri’s new functionality shows similar efforts from other tech companies like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, who have launched information resources about the virus. We have already seen WHO working with WhatsApp to show essential information through WhatsApp. On the other hand, Google previously launched a new website related to the Coronavirus that links necessary information from health organizations like WHO. Microsoft, meanwhile, has launched an interactive map and also worked with the CDC to produce a “self-checker” chatbot.

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