It seems that three is a puritanical streak to Apple’s Siri service but one that for something that is promoting itself as the next big thing in search is kind of disturbing.
You see if you ask Siri for directions to a Planned Parenthood you will get directions just as you would expect but if you then ask for an abortion clinic Siri turns silent as Jolie O’Dell from VentureBeat found out when she ran it through its paces.
While she had not problem getting directions to the four Planned Parenthood offices right around where she was she was told that there were no abortion clinics in the area. The same silence greeted her when Siri was asked about locations where one could buy “Plan B”, the commonly available emergency contraception pill.
Even funnier was that Siri had no problem with getting directions to stores selling condoms but when asked about locations where one could buy birth control pills there was no answers forth coming.
While it’s not in our purview to offer bald-faced speculations on the reasons for these discrepancies, VentureBeat CTO Chris Peri’s professional opinion is that the supposed glitch is actually “purposeful programming.”
Peri elaborated, “Given how well Siri interprets other requests, and that Google and Bing will give you the proper responses when doing a search, and [that Siri] offers [anti-abortion] CPC sites… this has to have been something placed in the code or taught to Siri by someone(s). If this is the case, then we have a problem here.”
This from a service that has no problem getting you phone numbers for escort services when you ask for prostitutes.