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Google Home goes silent on all religious figures after Jesus controversy

Sun 28 Jan 2018
By Alex Williams

Google Home users are being stopped from asking questions about religious figures after it emerged the technology does not respond to the question "Who is Jesus?"

Insisting the response was a temporary measure being taken while different solutions are explored, the technology company also offered an explanation for what had happened.

Google Home devices contain Google Assistant technology which can play music, read the news and answer questions - all in response to a verbal enquiry.

 

In a statement released on Twitter, a spokesperson said: "The reason the Google Assistant didn't respond with information about 'Who is Jesus' or 'Who is Jesus Christ' wasn't out of disrespect but instead to ensure respect.

"Some of the Assistant's spoken responses come from the web, and for certain topics, this content can be more vulnerable to vandalism and spam.

"If our systems detect such circumstances, the Assistant might not reply.

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"If similar vulnerabilities were detected for other questions - including those about other religious leaders - the Assistant also wouldn't respond."

Users of the voice-activated digital assistant have been expressing their confusion and dismay after discovering the device had been programmed to answer questions about Mohammad and Budda but not about Jesus.

A Google spokesperson added: "We're exploring different solutions and temporarily disabling these responses for religious figures on the Assistant."

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