People are increasingly telling their most intimate secrets to virtual assistants and tech companies are responding. But are we telling them too much?

It’s three in the morning and my room is bathed in the glow of my phone. Like one in three people, I check my smartphone when I wake up in the middle of the night. I can’t sleep and so wander from one social-media app to another, my thumbs scrolling through what feels like miles of emptiness. “Siri, what is the meaning of life?” I ask without thinking. “I have stopped asking myself this kind of question,” she answers. I ask again, because I like it better when she says “nothing Niestzche wouldn’t teach you”.

I am not the only one turning to Siri for life advice. Apple is currently recruiting a Siri engineer with a background in psychology to help make its virtual assistant better at answering these sorts of questions.

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