KEY POINTS

  • iPhone users can now ask Siri coronavirus-related questions
  • Siri will help users determine what to do by asking them questions about their condition
  • The service isn't available outside the U.S. at the moment

Digital voice assistants normally help users do things or get answers from the internet on a daily basis. These talking assistants have made it easier for many to go about their daily activities with a lot less effort. For example, users can ask these assistants to send texts without having to type letters and words on their phones.

Apple's Siri does that. And now, it can also answer questions related to the coronavirus problem that's happening around the world at the moment. CNBC reported that the Cupertino tech giant has updated its digital assistant and added the ability to respond to inquiries related to COVID-19.

iPhone users can now ask Siri if they have the coronavirus and expect the voice assistant to respond with a questionnaire. Users can ask the assistant, “Hey Siri, do I have the coronavirus?” and then expect to be led through a series of questions to help them determine what they need to do.

Per CNBC, Siri will ask users questions based on information available from the U.S. Public Health Service. The assistant will ask users if they are showing symptoms of the disease (which includes dry cough, fever and shortness of breath), and then advise them what to do based on their responses.

Siri will tell those who have serious, life-threatening symptoms to contact 911 for emergency help. It will, on the other hand, tell those who do not have serious or life-threatening symptoms to stay at home, avoid making contact with others, and monitor their condition. It will also tell them to seek medical help if their condition worsens.

Aside from helping users know what to do based on their symptoms, Siri will also provide them with a link to the App Store, where they can get helpful apps as well as the opportunity to receive possible virtual consultation. Apple, per CNBC, said Siri's responses are taken from the U.S. Publich Health Service as well as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevent.

The service is available to U.S. consumers to date. Siri will not ask U.K.-based users the same questions at the moment, but will instead provide a link to an information page on a U.K. government website, The Verge reported.

Siri on iPhone 4S Siri on iPhone 4S Photo: Reuters