Despite complaints about sub-stellar performance and occasional inaccuracies, Siri has proven herself to be quite the asset in times of dire need.
We’ve seen how quick-thinking mothers were able to save their child’s life by summoning Siri for help. But in the latest case, Siri reportedly came to the aid of an unconscious, pregnant mother — on behalf of her four-year-old son, whose own quick-thinking and summoning of the iOS-powered assistant saved the day.
According to BBC News, four-year-old Beau Austin, of Hook, Pembrokeshire, South Wales, discovered his mother, Jess, unconscious (allegedly as the result of side effects from medication she was taking to reduce the effects of morning sickness).
Young Beau drew upon his limited experience engaging with Siri and Amazon’s Alexa to allegedly ask his mother’s iPhone to dial the U.K.’s emergency services number, 999.
“My mummy’s sick,” Beau explained to the operator, who proceeded to coach him on ways to keep his mother conscious until help arrived.
According to the report, Jess faded back into consciousness just enough to take the phone and provide the operator with her address — though she apparently slipped back into unconsciousness shortly thereafter, and until medical personnel arrived on the scene.
“I was just really proud of him, without Beau being there, something really awful could’ve happened to me,” Jess Austin told BBC News, adding that “It was just me and Beau in the house by ourselves, so he did really, really well.”
“To use Siri like that is incredible. I didn’t even know you could do that on a phone.”
Much to mother’s surprise, Beau told the publication that he learned how to ask Siri for help after seeing someone do it on television.
As a reward, Beau was visited at his school last week by the local ambulatory service’s mascot, Jack, who presented him with a certificate and goodie bag, commemorating a job well done.
“Beau’s story shows how important it is for children to know their home address, including their postcode ideally,” said Fiona Maclean, a Manager with the Patient Experience and Community Involvement team, who presented the youngster with his gifts alongside first responders. “We engage with schools and communities to encourage children to learn their home address and what to do in an emergency.”
Siri Gets Smarter
While Siri continues to struggle and, unfortunately, still trails its closest competition in several key areas; Apple has recently added a wealth of new and potentially life-saving features to enhance its life-saving potential.
RapidSOS, which was released alongside iOS 12, improves a user’s ability to seek emergency help as quickly as possible — providing 911 emergency services operators in the United States with more essential data, including their address and associated health information — if and when they need to call in for help.
Not to mention, the Apple Watch has been saving lives left and right lately, thanks to the introduction of advanced new features like Fall Detection, SOS and arguably the most accurate wrist-worn heart rate monitor money can buy.