“Ask Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant for the iPhone, for ideas on where to eat dinner or whether you need an umbrella, and it will deliver helpful localized suggestions,” Jenna Wortham reports for The New York Times. “But try asking it to find a local abortion clinic, and the software turns up a puzzling blank — even in areas that clearly have such clinics. The response in Manhattan is: ‘Sorry, I couldn’t find any abortion clinics.'”
“‘I can’t help but feel that something is rotten in the state of Denmark,’ said one blogger at a site called The Abortioneers,” Wortham reports. “Megan Carpentier, the executive editor at a blog called The Raw Story, noted that Siri users in the Washington area are directed toward antiabortion pregnancy centers in Virginia and Pennsylvania — not the nearby Planned Parenthood. Asking Google the same question turned up ads for seven abortion clinics, two pregnancy centers and an abortion referral service.”
Wortham reports, “Norman Winarsky, who runs a research and investment firm called SRI Ventures and was one of the founders of Siri before Apple bought it in 2010, said… ‘Those answers would be coming from the Web services that Siri is connecting to, not necessarily Apple,’ he said. ‘My guess at what’s happening here is that Apple has made deals with Web services that provide local business information, and Apple probably hasn’t paid much attention to all the results that come up.'”
Read more in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]