Apple are facing some negative press over their Siri voice software which is apparently refusing to direct people to find abortion services. The news has caused a ripple across the industry and mainstream news sites such as the Telegraph paper in the UK are reporting on the controversial claims.
Siri has proven such a popular new feature that Apple are selling the new iPhone 4S on this feature alone. The theory is that it will direct the user to services they request, such as a restaurant or filing station. It can even tell the user opening and closing times.
NARAL’s president, Nancy Keenan has complained to Apple CEO Tim Cook that Siri is not providing customers with accurate or complete information about women’s reproductive health services. Megan Carpenter, a blogger in America found out that users in Washington DC who asked the device to direct them to an abortion clinic, were redirected to an anti abortion crisis center run by religious groups.
Users in New York found it did the same thing and when Siri is asked why it is ‘anti abortion’ it says ‘I just am’.
Apple are keen to distance themselves from this, saying that the inability to bring up information is not intentional, and it in fact just a beta flaw. Other users have found that the device will direct them towards prostitutes, and gun shooting ranges, meaning there is no ‘overriding moral compass’ built into the device.
Kitguru says: Regardless of whether they fix it soon, it is certainly causing much debate online right now.