The latest update to Siri is capable to field suicide-related requests with an approach designed to drive users to seek help. If the software detects someone’s having serious issues and is thinking to end his/her life, it will react with a two-fold approach, offering the number of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline along with the ability to call directly, prompting users to tap “yes” to proceed with the call. Alternatively, if a user taps “no,” Siri will present user with a list of local suicide prevention centers along with easily accessible directions powered by Yelp.
Apple is not the first company to do something about this; since 2012, Google has kept a list of “trigger search” keywords to indicate a user searching for suicide, while suggesting users to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
The new capability may be released in the light of the recent New York Time report which claims that more Americans are dying from suicide than car accidents…
We like Apple’s approach and are hoping that all other virtual assistants will be adding a similar capability into their apps/services.