Singapore—The fact that a virtual assistant can’t say ‘Ooops’ or apologize for mistakes has not stopped netizens from cracking up over Google Assistant’s faux pas in pulling up an image of Queen Maxima of the Netherlands when asked, “Ok Google, who is the president of Singapore?”

On October 23, Wednesday, a user on Reddit posted a screenshot of having asked the virtual assistant who the president of Singapore is, as well as the surprising result.

Redditor u/v1war wrote, “OK Google, why you do this?”

A writer for news portal AsiaOne tried it out and got the same result, and then explained how the error must have occurred. The picture that Google Assistant came up with was taken by Patrick van Katwijk for Getty Images, and when the photo was checked, it seems that Google Assistant had gathered data from pictures taken during a 5-day 2018 state visit of President Halimah to the Netherlands.

The President and her husband can be seen in many photos along with the Netherlands’ King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima.

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Mystery solved.

Commenters on the Reddit post had a field day, seemingly delighted at the case of mistaken identity, and poking fun at the absurdity of the situation from a number of angles.


One pointed out that Artificial Intelligence (AI) may not be as advanced as we all may have thought, and is probably not a threat to humanity quite yet.

But another Redditor refuted this, saying that, on the contrary, the ‘mistake’ is “an example of how advanced Google is.”

Others poked fun at how the president seemed to have changed her race so quickly.

One commenter pretended to admire mad Photoshop skills.

Another commented on the departure from Madam Halimah’s usual low-key, understated appearance.

Another wondered what the result would be if Bing, another search engine, was asked the same question.

If it’s any consolation, at least Siri got the answer correctly.