There has been a minor “controversy” regarding Google Assistant as some users have complained that when you ask the virtual assistant questions about Jesus or God, it does not recognize the “figure” and tells users that it doesn’t know how to help them with that question. Some have gone so far as to accusing Google of anti-Christian bias as this does not happen to other religious figures like Buddha and Muhammad. But there’s a reasonable explanation for this according to the tech giant.
This would not have been an issue if not for a Facebook Live post from user David Sams, calling Google Home out on its refusal to acknowledge Jesus or God. When he asked his smart speaker who Jesus was or who is God, it would reply with “Sorry, I don’t know how to help with that yet.” But if you ask it questions about Buddha, it would reply with information gleaned from the Wikipedia page. If you ask about Muhammad, it would just say he is the founder of Islam.
According to Google, the reason why Google Assistant does not respond is to “ensure respect”. It may provide an inaccurate or at worst, an offending answer simply because the responses are pulled from web pages and apparently Jesus and God are prone to online vandalism. This is not limited to those two words but any cases where the content is “more vulnerable to vandalism and spam” does not get a response from Google Assistant.
Despite the term artificial intelligence, we haven’t reached that point yet where it’s truly intelligent. AI is still dependent on what humans teach them. And apparently, there are a lot of people online who may teach it to spout offensive things about Jesus and God, which may itself get us another “controversy” from Christians who feel they are being persecuted online. So maybe to be safe, don’t ask Google Assistant any religious questions.