Stan Lee

Siri falsely reported Stan Lee's death

Contributed by
Jul 4, 2018

Stan Lee may have been having a tough go of it right now, but he’s not dead. Regardless, that’s what some people thought after a minor case of wrong-place-wrong-time circulated reports of his death from an unexpected source - one that's only as good as the data it's pulling from.

Thanks to a Wikipedia edit, comic fans everywhere had a bit of a shock when they asked Siri how old Marvel legend Lee is. The digital assistant automatically takes data from Wiki entries, so when a CinemaBlend writer’s son asked the Apple program how old Lee was, he got the response that “Stan Lee died on July 2, 2018.”

That’s not right. Lee is alive and kicking. So how did it happen?

According to io9, user “&beer&love” added a date of death to Lee’s page, so Siri (which doesn’t fact check its sources and just grabs data from the usual locations without any secondary analytics, as you might guess) reported whatever it saw on the site. That it wasn’t erased before Siri could deliver this intel to an Ant-Man fan was simply a case of bad timing.

Now the page has been returned to normal and the user has been deleted - but with how simple it is to alter those kinds of pages, what else could Siri be lying to us about?