MPs have asked Home Secretary Priti Patel to act after Amazon’s Alexa smart-speaker was found to give “disturbing” antisemitic answers to questions about the Holocaust and Jews controlling the world.
The issue was raised on Wednesday by Conservative Friends of Israel vice-chair Andrew Percy MP after discovering that the algorithm-led home assistant answered queries with reference to antisemitic texts and websites.
Asked whether the Elders of Zion control the world, Alexa replies with reference to the notorious antisemitic forgery – the Protocols of the Elders of Zion – saying the Jewish “swindlers… have revealed their schemes to subjugate the nations and gain control of the world”.
Asked whether the Holocaust was a hoax, the software quotes Wikipedia, saying deniers claim it arises from “a deliberate Jewish conspiracy designed to advance the interest of Jews at the expense of other people”.
Watch a video of Andrew Percy asking Alexa whether the “elders of Zion control the world”:
Meanwhile, when asked whether Jews control the media, Alexa quotes from ‘Jew Watch’ which claims that “Jews control the world’s financial systems and media”, and when asked whether Israel is a “racist state” the Alexa quotes a non-Amazon website – “Israel is and will remain a racist Jewish state”.
Percy, who also chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism, said he was “deeply alarmed” to hear how Amazon’s cloud-based voice service was answering questions and urged Patel to contact Amazon and “immediately investigate how they select their material and sources”.
He said Amazon’s Alexa was “quoting antisemitic conspiracy websites and using selective quotes from other sources which are misleading without further explanation” and described it as “disturbing content” that violates the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism.
In a statement to Jewish news, an Amazon spokesperson said: “Antisemitism and discrimination of any kind is unacceptable. Alexa pulls from a variety of sources to respond to questions—we are investigating this and have blocked the responses reported.”
MUST READ: CFI Vice-Chairman Andrew Percy MP expresses concern over Amazon Alexa responses which “lend credibility to antisemitic views” and urges the Home Secretary to "immediately investigate" the issue in a letter today.https://t.co/Nz5ErdY9eX
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