Earlier this week, a somewhat understandable firestorm erupted over whether Apple’s Siri personal digital assistant on the iPhone was seriously burying female-centric results on the service, or perhaps whether Siri had been developed entirely by dudes and thus overlooked certain female concerns.
The issue arose when several blogs noted that Siri amusingly would link you up rather effortlessly with prostitutes if you asked for “a blow job,” and was similarly helpful when the request was for marijuana or Viagra or several other excellent additions to a bachelor party. But when the question was about birth control or abortion services, Siri all of a sudden didn’t want to know you. Asking the device for assistance in locating an abortion in cities like Washington DC and New York City returned results for the mortal enemy of Planned Parenthood, Crisis Pregnancy Centers- places that provide free pregnancy tests and counseling but always try to steer a pregnant woman away from choosing abortion.
The situation led many to conclude the results were some sort of a secret agenda on the part of Apple, and many asked if Siri was pro-life. But the company has issued a denial, chalking the strange results up to the product still being in “beta” mode and thus not yet returning perfect answers. Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris says:
“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.”
Have you found Siri to be lacking in other areas that do not suggest a pro-life stance?