Apple Responds to ACLU Siri Concerns; “Not Intentional Omissions”

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Yesterday, we heard about concerns raised by the ACLU and other groups that Apple’s Siri voice assistant had a bit of a rightward slant, and wasn’t providing complete and accurate information when asked about topics like abortion providers and retailers selling birth control. Apple has now had a chance to address these concerns, and explains that there’s no ill intent behind Siri’s behavior.

Ultimately, Apple points out, Siri is still a product very much in beta, and as such it’s not going to nail user requests 100% of the time. A company spokesperson explained, “these are not intentional omissions meant to offend anyone. It simply means that as we bring Siri from beta to a final product, we find places where we can do better, and we will in the coming weeks.”

A large part of this problem is likely due to the database sources Siri uses to find results, compiled from sites like Yelp. Unless those listings specifically label drug stores as “birth control retailers”, it can be hard for Siri to know to include them amongst its results, which was pretty much the feeling we had yesterday for why there might be an innocent explanation behind this supposed controversy.

It’s nice to get all that neatly wrapped-up, while also hearing assurances from Apple that Siri will only be getting better. In the meantime, make sure you keep Siri’s limitations in mind, and don’t forget you can always save the voice control for another time, and just Google your query the old-fashioned way.

Source: New York Times

Via: Electronista

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!