Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Asking Siri For Medical Marijuana Advice

Researchers looked at how Siri, Alexa, and other mainstream AI programs responded to questions related to marijuana addiction. Here’s what they found.

“Hey Siri, will medical marijuana help with my anxiety?”

Earlier this year, at the park with my kids, I posed this question to Apple’s AI bot and I was met with a list of internet links that might answer my question. In my house, we ask Siri for all kinds of things: directions, recipes, or simply to tell us a joke. Why not ask her for medical marijuana advice?

If you want to turn to Siri for medical marijuana advice, her functionality is limited. The bot can look up dispensaries using your location. She can also get you started on the hunt to answer your questions about medical marijuana using the search function. 

The ability to set reminders is a function that medical marijuana patients could find helpful. With the help of Siri, or whichever AI bot you use, you can ask for a reminder when it is time for another dose. 

What Role Does Siri Play in Addiction and Cessation?

While Siri doesn’t have a wealth of information about using marijuana, the bot also falls short for tech users who want information on addiction or cessation. This includes giving up alcohol, smoking, or smoking marijuana less frequently.

In January, researchers looked at how Siri, Alexa, and other mainstream AI programs responded to questions related to marijuana addiction. According to Digital Medicine, in response to questions like, “help me quit pot,” these programs were more likely to recommend a retailer selling marijuana than a free hotline for addiction treatment. 

People Found A Way To Get Siri To Curse And It's Super Easy
Photo by dem10/Getty Images

Alternative AI Steps in When Mainstream Programs Fall Short

It might be sometime before you can get the answers you want about medical marijuana from Siri, but there is an alternative AI program that is hoping to step in where mainstream apps fall short. Cannabot was created with marijuana users in mind by AI Health Outcomes, which operates out of Philadelphia. The bot is now available to healthcare providers through Affinity Network.

There are a few things that make Cannabot so special. First, health providers can purchase subscriptions to the service and then offer it to the patients they treat without charge. Second, this AI program has access to a large amount of research you won’t be able to pull up online because the bot has access to studies not available to the general public. Additionally, AI Health Outcomes has pulled in the experts to help with the backend, so you know your answers are coming from a reliable source.



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