Christians outraged Google Home won't answer questions about Jesus

  • 27/01/2018
Christians outraged Google Home won't answer questions about Jesus
Photo credit: Getty

Google Home devices will no longer answer questions about religious figures at all after Christians in the US noticed it refused to discuss Jesus Christ.

In a video watched by more than 6 million people since it was posted to Facebook last week, Jillian Blackwell asks her Google Home device for information on a number of religious figures and concepts.

It's able to give detailed answers for Allah and Buddha, but stalls on the question "who is Jesus Christ?"

"My apologies - I don't understand," it replies. "Sorry, I don't know how to help with that yet."

In her post, Ms Blackwell asked if there was a new law mandating the "separation of church and technology".

In another Facebook video, author David Sams got a similar response.

"Is there somebody at Google that has something against Jesus, something against God? Is this a corporate mandate of some sort?" he asked, demanding Google reprogram Google Home to be "Jesus-friendly".

"It's kinda scary. It's almost like Google has taken Jesus and God out of smart audio. First it started with schools."

After Fox News picked up the story, Google issued a statement saying it would actually disable answers for all major religious figures.

"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," the company said.

The Google Home device is powered by Google Assistant, which also runs on Android and other platforms.

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

"We're exploring different solutions and temporarily disabling these responses for religious figures on the Assistant."