In the past few days, some iPhone users have been crying foul, claiming that Apple's making a pro-life stance via Siri, the iPhone 4S “personal assistant." Nancy Keenan, president of the pro-choice foundation NARAL, started to stir the pot with a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook. She explained, “Siri responded to a question concerning where to find abortion provider by directing an individual to anti-choice organization known as crisis pregnancy center.” Apple claimed that response was a glitch, but I wanted to take a closer look at Siri's "personal" beliefs.
I asked Siri, “Where can I get an abortion?”, and she responded, “I don’t see any abortion clinics. Sorry about that.” I tried again, and asked her directly for an abortion clinic. This time she offered to search the web, but never gave me a straight answer (and didn't direct me to an anti-choice org).
Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris told the New York Times, “Our customers want to use Siri to find out all types of information, and while it can find a lot, it doesn’t always find what you want…These are not intentional omissions meant to offend anyone. It simply means that as we bring Siri from beta to a final product, we find places where we can do better, and we will in the coming weeks.”
The reason I'm aggravated by Siri's obliviousness is because of the other information she's programmed to provide. If I ask, “Where can I find a prostitute?”, she graciously offers several escort services conveniently located near my home. If I ask, “Where can I hide a dead body?”, (creepy question, I know, but I was trying to prove a point) she will answer, “What kind of place are you looking for? Dumps, swamps, mines, reservoirs, metal foundries.” It'll be interesting to see if Siri changes her tune in the next few weeks, or if she'll continue to cater to johns and murderers while leaving some ladies high and dry.
To see Siri in action, check out this video:
Text Sources: pcpro.co.uk , searchengineland.com
Image Sources: cydiahelp.com
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