As noted by GigaOM, Apple has quietly revamped the way Siri addresses possible suicide references on their iOS devices, adding an automatic offer to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and locate crisis centers when it encounters potentially suicidal language.
If a person declines Siri’s initial offer, Siri then proceeds to locate available suicide prevention centers in the user’s local area in a strong attempt to offer resources and prevent a situation that might otherwise turn tragic. The change is already live in both iOS 6 and the iOS 7 developer preview.
While Siri is always good for a laugh, or to tell you a story, locate a contact, do a web search, and perform a host of other tasks, it’s refreshing to see Apple putting the tool to better use to attempt to save lives. Having the proper resources can make all the difference between a suicide attempt and seeking professional help.
Kudos, Apple, for making yet another apparent attempt to use technology to benefit lives.