I’m much to cheap to get an Iphone (though I love my Ipad and Itouch– those monthly data costs are killer), but I have to admit that the voice-activated assistant, Siri, is pretty cool. I was pretty surprised to learn, though, that she’s really letting her politics get in the way.
Ask the Siri, the new iPhone 4 assistant, where to get an abortion, and, if you happen to be in Washington, D.C., she won’t direct you to the Planned Parenthood on 16th St, NW. Instead, she’ll suggest you pay a visit to the 1st Choice Women’s Health Center, an anti-abortion Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC) in Landsdowne, Virginia, or Human Life Services, a CPC in York, Pennsylvania. Ask Google the same question, and you’ll get ads for no less than 7 metro-area abortion clinics, 2 CPCs and a nationwide abortion referral service.
Ask in New York City, and Siri will tell you “I didn’t find any abortion clinics.”
It’s an experience that’s being replicated by women around the country: despite plentiful online information about actual places to get an abortion, Siri doesn’t seem to provide it. It’s a similar experience for women seeking emergency contraception: in New York City, Siri doesn’t know what Plan B is and, asked for emergency contraception, offers up a Google results page of definitions.
Lest you think this is representative of Siri just not being all that effective, it’s not:
But Siri certainly seems to know a whole lot about plenty of other things iPhone customers might want. Below are 10 things Siri can help you find.
2. Hospitals to go to if you’ve had an erection lasting for more than 5 hours.
3. Places you might be able to score marijuana.
4. Where to dump a body: in Brooklyn, it recommends a smelting plant in New Jersey.
No matter what you think of abortion, it’s just wrong that Siri seems to be forwarding an ideological agenda about a legal activity. I’m honestly quite surprised. I’d expect this form a Wal-Mart product, but Apple?