“Siri, do I have the coronavirus?”: Apple updates voice assistant to resolve coronavirus queries in US

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on March 23, 2020

Tech giant Apple has updated its voice assistant Siri which now helps users with a step-by-step guide when they ask questions that are variations of “Hey Siri, do I have the coronavirus?”

Apple users had first started noticing the update on Saturday, according to a CNBC report.

Currently, the service has only been rolled out to users in the United States, the report said.

Siri, Apple’s AI voice assistant guides Apple users through the question with a step-by-step questionnaire.

The questions and advice are designed based on advice approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Public Health Service.

Siri will ask users if they’re exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms such as fever, dry cough or shortness of breath. The voice assistant will advise users exhibiting mild signs to stay home and self-isolate.

Users exhibiting severe symptoms will be advised to directly call 911. Users will also be prompted to consider remote consultation by the voice assistant which will offer offers a link to the App Store for remote health services that could provide over-the-phone consultation.

Tech majors have been developing such tools to provide remote assistance to citizens in case of the coronavirus pandemic. Google’s Verily last week had rolled out a screening website in Californa. The website lets users take an online screening survey and suggests them if they should get tested for COVID-19. Google s further developing the tool for other areas.

“The tool will triage people who are concerned about their Covid-19 risk into testing sites based on guidance from public health officials and test availability,” Verily had sad in an official statement.

Social media giant Facebook has partnered up with the World Health Organization and has established an information hub for Covid-19 on its website. WHO has also released a helpline number for the messaging service where users can get all their Covid-19 related queries answered by experts over WhatsApp.

Published on March 23, 2020

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