Apple’s Siri Won’t Tell You Where To Find Abortion Clinics
Uh-oh! Although it most likely didn’t intend to do it, Apple is right smack-dab in the middle of the abortion debate right now. And they have their new voice recognition software Siri to thank for it.
Siri, which comes standard on all new Apple iPhone 4S devices, is a program that allows you to ask it questions and get quick answers on a range of different things. Need your dirty work shirt cleaned? Siri can help you find a dry-cleaning service nearby. Hungry? Siri can wrangle together a list of good restaurants in your area. Want to get in a workout while you’re on a business trip? Siri knows where all the gyms are at. But if you’re planning on possibly getting an abortion, do not ask Siri about that. According to the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, Siri can’t help you.
Last week, the NARAL’s president Nancy Keenan wrote an email to Apple expressing her concern over this. “In some cases,” she wrote, “Siri is not providing your customers with accurate or complete information about women’s reproductive-health services.”
To their credit, Apple responded very quickly. And they said that they did not intend to take sides in the abortion debate. Rather, they insist that Siri is simpy still in the beta phase and that Apple is trying to iron out the kinks. In other words, they are not purposely leaving abortion clinics out of the equation when iPhone 4S users ask Siri a question about abortion.
“Our customers want to use Siri to find out all types of information,” an Apple spokesperson said in response to Keenan’s letter. “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.”
So, there you have it. Apple will allow Siri users to find abortion clinics in the near future. Which we’re sure will only infuriate the other side of the abortion debate and force them to write letters to Apple. Like we said, Apple inadvertently just landed right in the middle of the abortion debate. And they have no one to blame but themselves. Now, how can they get themselves out of this mess, Siri?