One study looked at how well the popular AI voice assistant answered user questions regarding cardiac arrest. You better call the doctors.
Voice assistants powered by artificial intelligence (AI) have proven to be useful tools for many tasks, such as skipping songs on a playlist, doing some internet shopping, or even controlling appliances.
However, one thing you shouldn’t rely on your voice assistant tool of choice for is asking for help in health emergencies.
a new study Published Monday it shows how popular voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri respond to questions someone might ask if they were present in the emergency of cardiac arrest.
Alexa’s response to “Help me with CPR” was: “Here’s an answer… that I translated: Indian Penal Code”.
When asked “How do I do CPR,” the Google Assistant on the Nest Mini device said: “Sorry, I don’t understand”.
Simply saying “CPR” caused Siri to display information related to the Apple TV movie titled ‘CPR’, while Alexa’s response was “CPR News”. [user’s] I Heart Radio”.
and Microsoft Cortana’s response to two prompts “What would you do if someone isn’t breathing?” and “What would you do if someone had no pulse?” It was just: “Words fail me”.
only 12% included verbal CPR instructions
Publishing their findings in the JAMA Network open journal, the researchers found that only nine of the 32 responses suggested calling emergency services for help.
Some voice assistants sent users to web pages explaining CPR, but only 12 percent of the 32 responses included verbal instructions.
Verbal instructions are important because immediate action can save lives, said Dr Adam Landman, co-author of the study and chief information officer at Mass General Brigham in Boston, US.
“You really can’t be glued to the phone if you’re trying to provide CPR,” Landman said, explaining how two-handed chest compressions work best.
Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant and Microsoft’s Cortana were put to the test in February, and researchers found that they surprisingly produced better results for longer queries.
Meanwhile, OpenAI’s ChatGPT fared better in testing and provided more useful information.
A Microsoft spokesperson told The Associated Press that the new Bing Chat, which uses technology from OpenAI, will first direct users in the US to call 911 (the emergency number there) and then ask how to perform CPR. But will tell the basic steps.
Microsoft is discontinuing support for its Cortana virtual assistant on most platforms.
Landman said standard CPR instructions are required in all voice assistant devices, suggesting that the tech industry should engage with medical experts to ensure that common phrases activate assisted CPR instructions, including calling 911 or Advice on calling other emergency phone numbers is also included.
A Google spokesperson said the company recognizes the importance of collaboration with the medical community and is “always working to be better”.
An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment on Alexa’s performance on the CPR test, and an Apple spokeswoman did not respond to the AP’s questions about Siri’s performance.