It was Johnson’s Siri on BBCQT – which may not actually be much better

Rumours were circulating last night that Tory minister Jo Johnson was receiving a feed telling him what to say during last night’s BBC Question Time. It appears it was his Apple phone’s ‘Siri’ function accidentally activating during the programme – but that may not be much better for the minister.

Here’s how it happened:

It seems Johnson’s Siri thought he was asking it:

What’s been agreed in Cabinet today?

Siri then starts to read out what appear to be notes from a Cabinet meeting yesterday, coincidentally about Syria.

That might be marginally less embarrassing than the idea that someone was feeding Johnson lines on the programme – but then again it might not.

Because Siri learns.

Speaking of the Siri system’s ‘machine learning’ capabilities, Apple’s Senior Vice-President of Sotware Craig Federighi said last autumn:

Siri is no longer just a voice assistant… Siri on-device intelligence is streamlining everyday interactions with our devices… [we have] worked to make it a core part of all of our platforms.

With the software update coming this [2017] fall, users will experience even more Siri functionality.

For Siri to think Johnson was asking it to tell him what was agreed in Cabinet may suggest that it has learned to respond to that or a similar phrase – because he has asked it before, possibly frequently.

Which in turn may not say too much for Johnson’s level of focus in Cabinet meetings, if he has to ask his phone to tell him what happened.

Or he could have been just unlucky with his tech. Readers will make their mind up based on their own experience of the competence or otherwise of this government.

A bit of ‘machine learning’, you might say.

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11 responses to “It was Johnson’s Siri on BBCQT – which may not actually be much better

  1. If he’d been at the theatre or opera when that happened, he’d have been turfed out.

    And it’d make me think twice about inviting him to public (especially solemn) events in case it happened again,

  2. Yes, that does appear to be what happened in this case.

    Nonetheless, it’s worth keeping an eye out for earpiece-wearing types. Though the practice is sordid beyond belief, it’s easily done, hard to detect and the chances of being caught are minimal.

    Where performance anxiety is high, it’s always a possibility with this government of marionettes.

  3. Not the first time I’ve seen Tory ministers being worked by remote! Gove and Hammond to name two. The Queen Bee controls them all!

    • Is that why you never see her hands when they’re talking?
      Eew that’s nasty.

  4. Liverpool!
    No!
    Most of you came across as S*N readers, the way you were clapping Johnson!
    As for the Chair, it could have been a Tory Fete, the way he FAWNED over Johnson!
    Where, did QT, BUS this AUDIENCE IN FROM?
    Could it be they came from some TORY CLP?
    The young American female is never off TV, spouting her rightwing SH*TE!
    This week ALONE, it must be 5 times I’ve seen her!
    QT is a far-right propaganda machine, time as long past that it should be taken off air, along with all the other TORY NEWS MEDIA!
    TIME FOR A TRUE BALANCE in REPORTING POLITICS!
    INSTEAD OF ALL THE FALSE NEWS ABOUT THE SOCIALIST LABOUR LEFT AND JEREMY CORBYN!
    Anti Semitism raised its ugly head again, Johnson jumped in with both feet, he couldn’t wait to castigate JC.
    Does he really think the left, or as he said the far left, hate JEWS?
    He should stick his face into the HISTORY OF WORLD WAR 2, I think he will find, that back then, it was the RIGHT WING FASCISTS that caused the HOLOCAUST!
    17 MILLION GASSED AND MURDERED, OF WHICH 6 MILLION WERE JEWS.
    To say it’s the LEFT IN POLITICS, IS ANOTHER LIE, PUT ABOUT BY THE RIGHT, OF WHICH JOHNSON, ALONG WITH HIS KIND, WHO ARE ANTI SEMITIC!
    The JEWS have been persecuted since humanity could speak or put pen to paper!
    HISTORY IS REPEATING ITSELF, BUT THIS TIME, THE LIES ARE ALL BEING SPOKEN BY THE RIGHT!

  5. Stooge watchers should not be deterred by this false start with Johnson and his chatty iPhone. The suggestion of covert assistance was a good one, and still is.

    Nothing’s beneath someone hustling a scab meal-ticket in full knowledge of their likely contribution to increased infant mortality.

  6. I’ve never attended a meeting where the fate of nations is at stake – except here with you guys of course 🙂 – but wouldn’t the most basic security precaution be to turn off your frocking phones?

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