Conservative Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson was trying to give a speech in Parliament about the situation with ISIS in the Middle East. The Telegraph reports that Williamson was in the middle of a speech about the situation in the Middle East when a voice emanated from his jacket pocket.

While I, not very technologically minded and having no smartphone, remember a woman who was the voice of Siri following her on Twitter, this was a male version of Siri. Right in the middle of Williamson’s speech, Siri announced to “Gavin” that it had found something relevant on the Internet for "Syria and democratic forces supported by…" at which point Williamson managed to cut Siri off.

Siri signs up for the House of Commons

John Bercow, the speaker of the Commons, interrupted the artificial intelligence exchange by announcing that this was a “rum business.” Williamson replied to Bercow, saying he is unsure what caused the interruption, but that he apologised. The Defence Secretary then went on to add that it is a rare occasion when one is heckled by ones' own mobile phone. He added that this was a new parliamentary convention indeed. Williamson then said he would carry on with his speech, hopefully without the support and help of Siri.

As noted by the Telegraph, Williamson later headed to Twitter to post a video of the incident and to say he had a brand new iPhone and that he had to ask his 13-year-old daughter how to use the darn thing.

Laura Kuenssberg with the BBC pointed out on Twitter that while the incident was humorous, given his position Williamson should probably have disabled the Siri service to avoid being hacked in the House of Commons.

Hackers can gain access to your phone via Siri or Alexa

The Huffington Post quotes The Hacker News as last year advising that hackers are able to send text messages, make phone calls and browse on malicious websites on other people’s iPhones using Google Now or Siri. Reportedly, security researchers at the Zhejiang University in China had found a useful way of activating the voice recognition systems on phones without even saying a word.

This is by exploiting a particular security vulnerability common with all major AI voice assistants.

Hacker News reportedly said the system works while they feed AI assistants various commands using ultrasonic frequencies, inaudible to humans, but clearly captured by the microphones contained in smart devices. In their report they said that using this particular technique, hackers are able to “silently” whisper command into other people’s smartphones in order to hijack smart assistants like Alexa and Siri. The assistants may then be forced to open malicious websites or open the technical door to a locked smartphone.

While Williamson’s experience was accidental, having left his smartphone connected to Siri, the automatic assistant has managed to add itself to political debate in the UK.