Wednesday, April 12, 2017

"Ok, Burger King"

We've all heard the stories of commercials and TV setting off smart home devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home. But this was the breaking point. Today, Burger King released a new ad. An employee for Burger King is seen holding a Whopper, and notes how 15 seconds is too short to do an ad. He then has an idea and says, "Ok, Google. What is the Whopper burger?" Owners of a Google Home would hear their devices respond with "The Whopper is a burger, consisting of a flame-grilled patty made with 100 percent beef with no preservatives or fillers, topped with sliced tomatoes, onions, lettuce, pickles, ketchup, and mayonnaise, served on a sesame-seed bun." Google Home's source is Wikipedia. Now, for those who don't check up on the Whopper's Wikipedia page every 5 days, here's what the quote was for the past decade or so: "The Whopper sandwich is the signature hamburger product sold by the international fast-food restaurant chain Burger King and its Australian franchise Hungry Jack's." Doesn't have the same ring. Looking at the change log, it can be seen that Burger King's marketing chief changed the page himself. When consumers realized this, they also began to change it to more negative descriptions. The higher ups at Wikipedia eventually reverted the page and locked it down. Meanwhile, Google captured the advertisement's audio and restricted Google Home from responding to the commercial. This does beg the question: Can we trust products like Google Home if they're just going to use Wikipedia as their source most of the time?

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