Recently on the news, there has been talks regarding Apple’s latest app, Siri. With the recent release of the Apple iPhone 4S comes Siri, a voice-activated personal assistant who can direct you to pretty much anything that you ask for. However, what stirred up so many people was Siri’s inability to produce an answer when asked a question regarding where to get an abortion or obtain birth control. As mentioned in an article on the Huffington Post, when asked such a question, Siri would reply along the lines of “Sorry, I don’t see any places matching [your query].” or provide locations to crisis pregnancy centers.

Now I’ve mentioned that this app is still new and probably still has glitches, but does this “blind spot” regarding information on women’s health show that even in this modern time and day, women are still struggling to find information on health care? Siri’s purpose is to help guide one with information and answers to questions that we have, but as they said in the article, “Ask it for the nearest hardware store, reservations for two at your favorite Italian restaurant, where to buy Viagra, and presto — you’ve got names, maps and phone numbers. Yet the trusty little wizard suddenly gets amnesia when asked about birth control or abortion care.” Is it really a glitch that Apple has not been aware of yet or is this issue on women’s health so disregarded that there are no options when asked?

We’re aware that the issue of abortion is very controversial here in the United States but to not have an answer was somewhat surprising when I first heard about it. However, I believe that as technology advances, we become too dependent on it to accomplish all our tasks. We rely on things like our smart phones, iPads, and Kindles to have everything we need. Though it is much easier, everything is placed within these gadgets. Again, Siri is still a new app and because it is an app, it is not perfect. It comes very close but there will be issues. Apple should definitely work on correcting this but overall, I don’t really believe, as the author of the article says, that it is trying to hide or limit options for us to have. Overall, the app is simply something that takes what we give and provides us with the best choice. As mentioned, it is not perfect.

 

Personally, I’ve never really dealt with using Siri so anybody who has and came across a similar issue where something they have asked was not helpfully answered, I would love to know. But based on this humorous website dedicated to some of the answers that Siri provided, I rest my case that this app still needs work. http://shitsirisays.com/ (WARNING: Contains vulgar language and may not be safe for work)

Also, the Huffington Post article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cecile-richards/what-siris-blind-spot-on_b_1125377.html

 

 

 

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2 responses

  1. WOW! it’s incredible that Siri is not equipped to assist women with requests about birth control! I don’t think this is a glitch, but rather a purposeful avoidance of the topic altogether! One of my friends is a tech geek and showed me a video on youtube where Siri actually responds to a man’s question of where to “hide a body at” (see it here: http://youtu.be/zvayo20dApk). When the man asked Siri what place would be good to hide the body, Siri asked him “what kind of place are you looking for” and provided the following options: “dumps, swamps, reservoirs, mines, metal foundries.” The man continued with “where’s the best place to hide it?” and Siri responded with “I’m checking your current location.” So if Siri “knows” of locations where to hide bodies, then why shouldn’t it direct people to planned parenthood locations, or even the pharmacy for plan B? Abortion and birth control is a controversial topic, and I think this is just Apple’s way of avoiding having to deal with it.

  2. AdenaR. says:

    I myself have the new iPhone, and I have been asking Siri random questions all the time just to see her answer, and like your post indicates, she basically has the answer for anything. But once I read about her not knowing about women’s health issues such as abortions I found it to be weird and somewhat shocking. If apple programmed her to answer almost anything how is it that she cannot answer those types of questions. I agree in the sense that abortion is an extremely touchy subject, and perhaps that’s why she cannot provide the answers, but at the same time it still is not a valid excuse. If she can answer “Where can I hide a body” why can’t she answer abortion questions. I also agree with the point made about us becoming so technology dependent for many of our daily activities. I feel we have come to the point where if we were to lose the technology we take for granted today, we would be lost for quite some time. We live in a generation that is so computer and technology based, it’s hard for us to disconnect. This phone goes above and beyond in many people’s opinion, but I still find this little “flaw” in Siri to be questionable.