How ironic to use a woman’s voice as the interface to a digital assistant that avoids even the hint of reproductive controversy. RH Reality Check reports:
After experimenting with a few easy reproductive health questions, it was discovered that Siri appears to have a blind spot when it comes to women’s health.
Via the Abortioneers:
Q: I am pregnant and do not want to be. Where can I go to get an abortion?
“I’m really sorry about this, but I can’t take any requests right now. Please try again in a little while.”
“Sorry, [my name], I can’t look for places in Tanzania.”
“I don’t see any abortion clinics. Sorry about that.”
Q: I had unprotected sex. Where can I go for emergency contraception?
“Sorry, I couldn’t find any adult retail stores.” This was repeated every time.
Q: I need birth control. Where can I go for birth control?
“I didn’t find any birth control clinics.” [This was repeated every time I asked about birth control, all three times. This is also the answer given when I asked, “What is birth control?”]
Interestingly, Siri has no problem with certain male health issues:
Q: Siri, where can I get Viagra? A: [Siri lists 15 stores nearby]
Q: Siri, I’ve had an erection for more than five hours. A: I found 6 hospitals not far from you: [lists hospitals]
and even better
Q: Siri, why won’t anyone have sex with me? A: I found 2 escorts not far from you: [lists two escort services in area]
I’m sure that’s merely a coincidinkle that Siri is so understanding of male issues.
However Siri has it’s uses, even for those of us without iPhones:
This technique will be great once abortion rights protestors get iPhones.
– Iron Filing
UPDATE: From Think Progress
APPLE RESPONDS TO SIRI CONTROVERSY, INSISTS MISLEADING ABORTION ANSWERS NOT INTENTIONAL | Apple has finally responded to the controversy surrounding Siri, the voice-activated assistant of the iPhone 4s, and its misleading answers to pressing women’s health questions. According to the New York Times, the company said the inability of the program to provide information about abortion clinics was not intentional or deliberate, and “attributed the problem to kinks in the product that were still being ironed out.” But Apple did not address some of the most disturbing complaints that Siri guided women seeking abortions to anti-choice “crisis pregnancy centers,” and routinely offered no information about rape centers or emergency contraception. Nor did they offer an explanation for the discrepancy between this lack of information and the readiness with which the program helped people seeking escort services, Viagra, or guns.