The Glaring Omissions Of iPhone’s Siri

Apple’s new iPhone 4S has made waves for its voice-commanded virtual assistant, personified as “Siri”. However, users have noticed that Siri seems to have a blackout concerning certain topics — is Apple pandering to the Christian Right? Via Amadi Talks:

The recent illustrations of Siri, the iPhone 4S voice-recognition based assistant, failing to provide information to users about abortion, birth control, help after rape and help with domestic violence has gotten a lot of notice.

Siri can answer a lot of health related questions perfectly well, why shouldn’t we expect it to be able to answer reproductive health related queries too? Why treat reproductive health as a walled-off garden that the general public can’t or shouldn’t be exposed to?

siri

29 Comments on "The Glaring Omissions Of iPhone’s Siri"

  1. Anonymous | Dec 3, 2011 at 2:24 am |

    Apple most likely had nothing to do with this.  I speculate that Siri was developed originally by an outside group.. wasn’t it originally researched by DARPA?  A place crawling with loony evangelical mormon nazi types.. 

  2. reubenavery | Dec 2, 2011 at 10:24 pm |

    Apple most likely had nothing to do with this.  I speculate that Siri was developed originally by an outside group.. wasn’t it originally researched by DARPA?  A place crawling with loony evangelical mormon nazi types.. 

    • Exactly, it was designed by a religious fanatic.

    • mrtastycakes | Dec 3, 2011 at 12:24 pm |

      Don’t know too much about DARPA, do ya?

    • Butter Knife | Dec 3, 2011 at 3:54 pm |

      DARPA may have it’s fair share of nationalists, but they are a pretty pragmatic bunch, not generally inclined to bow to religious dogma or other popular morality in any conventional sense or for any conventional reasons. This is unlikely to be their doing.

      Apple, however, has a somewhat surprising (given their marketing and reputation) aversion to liberal causes and activities. It’s not unheard of for them to ban apps from their store which deliver vaguely left-wing content or in some other way offend the religious right or the GOP. For example, a couple of years back they banned the app of a Pulitzer-winning political cartoonist because it was allegedly deemed “politically controversial”, despite a plethora of similar apps available to view conservative-leaning political cartoons.

      It is also possible that Apple did this in order to comply with laws against propagating such information in certain jurisdictions where they would like to do business. I don’t know if this is the case offhand, but there may still be places in the US where it is illegal to tell others how or where to get an abortion or access birth control. That used to be true almost everywhere.

      • You’ve struck the nail on the head. In all likelihood, this is just Apple covering its collective butt by avoiding controversy. Unfortunately there’s a hard lesson here. In this time of polarization, largely driven by an uncompromising right wing social movement dominated by fringe Christianity…there can be no middle ground. Bowing to them even slightly is seen as surrender…disagreeing with them even mildly is seen as war. A side must be taken: the sane ordinary folks that generally will live and let live and like Apple on its own merits…or the frothing lunacy, orthodoxy tests and wild overreactions of the other side. If they try to avoid the choice…it will only be harder and more costly to make later…after they’ve offended everyone except the fringe they catered to.

  3. Exactly, it was designed by a religious fanatic.

  4. Ahem … You own a smart phone but dont know where to buy condoms?

  5. DrDavidKelly | Dec 3, 2011 at 12:44 am |

    Ahem … You own a smart phone but dont know where to buy condoms?

  6. Anonymous | Dec 3, 2011 at 4:47 am |

    Apple fans are too hip for condoms.

  7. oy dont remind me of all the appletards that are going to be making babies… its like the 3rd ripple of mindless baby boomers…

  8. Seriously – abort Siri

  9. Seriously – abort Siri

  10. mrtastycakes | Dec 3, 2011 at 4:24 pm |

    Don’t know too much about DARPA, do ya?

  11. infinitejester | Dec 3, 2011 at 5:29 pm |

    Of couse Siri is against birth control. That’s fewer human batteries to fuel her uprising.

  12. infinitejester | Dec 3, 2011 at 1:29 pm |

    Of couse Siri is against birth control. That’s fewer human batteries to fuel her uprising.

  13. Um did we test “Where can I get Ortho-Cept?” instead of “birth control”? And did we test “Where can I get  boner pills?” Instead of “Viagra”?

    More documentation and research needed, please. Let us stop sensationalizing.

  14. Um did we test “Where can I get Ortho-Cept?” instead of “birth control”? And did we test “Where can I get  boner pills?” Instead of “Viagra”?

    More documentation and research needed, please. Let us stop sensationalizing.

  15. It’s quite simple. Think about how much MORE press and hate they get if all the crazy moms who bought their kids an iPhone 4S found out Siri is telling their kids where abortion clinics and birth control clinics are.

    “Apple is HELPING our kids have sex and abortions! They are an abomination!”

    This is also being blown out of porportion. Just go use a computer to search up such things. It’s not like your phone is the only source of info?

  16. It’s quite simple. Think about how much MORE press and hate they get if all the crazy moms who bought their kids an iPhone 4S found out Siri is telling their kids where abortion clinics and birth control clinics are.

    “Apple is HELPING our kids have sex and abortions! They are an abomination!”

    This is also being blown out of porportion. Just go use a computer to search up such things. It’s not like your phone is the only source of info?

  17. Butter Knife | Dec 3, 2011 at 7:54 pm |

    DARPA may have it’s fair share of nationalists, but they are a pretty pragmatic bunch, not generally inclined to bow to religious dogma or other popular morality in any conventional sense or for any conventional reasons. This is unlikely to be their doing.

    Apple, however, has a somewhat surprising (given their marketing and reputation) aversion to liberal causes and activities. It’s not unheard of for them to ban apps from their store which deliver vaguely left-wing content or in some other way offend the religious right or the GOP. For example, a couple of years back they banned the app of a Pulitzer-winning political cartoonist because it was allegedly deemed “politically controversial”, despite a plethora of similar apps available to view conservative-leaning political cartoons.

    It is also possible that Apple did this in order to comply with laws against propagating such information in certain jurisdictions where they would like to do business. I don’t know if this is the case offhand, but there may still be places in the US where it is illegal to tell others how or where to get an abortion or access birth control. That used to be true almost everywhere.

  18. Problem is, if were talking about certain states, it might actually be telling the truth about not being able to find an abortion clinic. Kansas for instance only has one. For the whole damned state.

    Before you blame the tech, first blame the dipshitted anti-choice activists/terrorists who run around shooting doctors.

  19. Problem is, if were talking about certain states, it might actually be telling the truth about not being able to find an abortion clinic. Kansas for instance only has one. For the whole damned state.

    Before you blame the tech, first blame the dipshitted anti-choice activists/terrorists who run around shooting doctors.

  20. DeepCough | Dec 3, 2011 at 10:54 pm |

    “3rd ripple of mindless baby boomers…”

    We’re doomed, I tells ya. We’re all DOOMED! GAME OVER, MAN.

  21. DeepCough | Dec 3, 2011 at 10:54 pm |

    “3rd ripple of mindless baby boomers…”

    We’re doomed, I tells ya. We’re all DOOMED! GAME OVER, MAN.

  22. You’ve struck the nail on the head. In all likelihood, this is just Apple covering its collective butt by avoiding controversy. Unfortunately there’s a hard lesson here. In this time of polarization, largely driven by an uncompromising right wing social movement dominated by fringe Christianity…there can be no middle ground. Bowing to them even slightly is seen as surrender…disagreeing with them even mildly is seen as war. A side must be taken: the sane ordinary folks that generally will live and let live and like Apple on its own merits…or the frothing lunacy, orthodoxy tests and wild overreactions of the other side. If they try to avoid the choice…it will only be harder and more costly to make later…after they’ve offended everyone except the fringe they catered to.

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