Chris Rawson on Siri’s Purported ‘Pro-Life’ Bias

Chris Rawson, writing for TUAW:

Siri’s unhelpful and sometimes misleading answers to pressing health questions stand in stark contrast to her prompt and accurate responses to inquiries about nearby escort services,” says Think Progress, while Slate goes even farther off the deep end and says, “many around the Web [are] wondering if Siri is pro-life and whether Apple is attempting to impose its morals upon the rest of us.”

This is a textbook example of sensationalistic media making something from absolutely nothing.

Plus, Apple is a pretty progressive company, especially by Fortune 500 standards. If anything, the company’s politics on this issue would skew the other way.

A Siri search for “Planned Parenthood” almost always returns results no matter where you search in the States — because that search is powered by Yelp rather than whatever comparatively limited database Siri is using for more specific searches like “abortion clinic” or “birth control.” If Siri is really supposed to be “pro-life” and “imposing morals” on its users, then searches for the politically charged Planned Parenthood clinics would also turn up no results, wouldn’t they?

Exactly.

β˜… Thursday, 1 December 2011

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