Panel Questions: | WGLT

Panel Questions:

Aug 3, 2019
Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit


Adam, if you have an Apple device, you know that the automated assistant Siri wakes up when it hears the phrase hey Siri. But according to a company whistleblower, Siri also wakes up and starts listening when it hears what?

ADAM BURKE: If - someone in a factory complaining about the conditions.


SAGAL: No, I'll give you a hint. If you want to avoid this, everybody needs to go out and get pants with button flies.

BURKE: Wait, the sound of of, like, a zipper?

SAGAL: Yes. The sound of a zipper...


SAGAL: ...Wakes up Siri.

AIDA RODRIGUEZ: Wow, creepy.

PAULA POUNDSTONE: It's camping (ph) Siri.

SAGAL: Yes. Now, I just told you...

BURKE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: ...That Siri starts listening when it hears pants unzipped, and your first thought was, so they've heard - oh.


SAGAL: And then you think a little more, and you're, like, wait - they've also heard - oh, no.


SAGAL: Apple sends recordings made by Siri out to contractors whose job it is to make sure that it's recording what it's supposed to be recording. And according to an anonymous whistleblower, what they hear is, quote, "discussions between doctors and patients, business deals..."

BURKE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: "...Seemingly criminal dealings, sexual encounters and so on" - unquote. And all that is bad. But what business deals...


SAGAL: ...Begin with people taking their pants off?


SAGAL: Thanks for taking the meeting, gentlemen. Let's drop trou (ph) and talk numbers.


BURKE: Hold on - round of applause - how many people are going to go home and unzip your pants in front of your phone?


SAGAL: Yeah.

BURKE: All right. OK.

RODRIGUEZ: He's doing it right now.

BURKE: Yeah.

RODRIGUEZ: He's doing it right now.


BURKE: Yeah. I mean, how many people were going to do that anyway?


GENERAL LARRY PLATT: (Singing) Pants on the ground, pants on the ground, pants on the ground, looking like a fool with your pants on the ground.

SAGAL: Coming up, it's an open-and-shut case - it's our Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play. We'll be back in a minute with more of WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME from NPR. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.