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Apple claims Siri is PC by accident; personal assistant won't discuss controversial topics

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Apple claims Siri is PC by accident; personal assistant won't discuss controversial topics
After word spread that Apple's voice activated personal assistant Siri was not answering inquiries relating to birth control, abortion and other  politically charged issues, organizations and rights groups were voicing their concern about Siri's failure to answer questions relating to PC topics. For example, the ACLU was upset that Siri could pass along information on where to have sex or how to find an escort service (presumably one that promises a "happy ending"). At the same time, the ACLU noted that Siri passed along "false and misleading information about abortion" while responding to questions about that topic by directing users to pregnancy crisis centers.

Apple claims that nothing in Siri's response to these topics were done on purpose and is merely a glitch in the feature according to Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris, who talked with the New York Times earlier this week. Kerris told the Times that Siri doesn't always find the answers that users seek and that these are not intentional acts of omission on Apple's part. She added that as the Cupertino based company brings the voice activated personal assistant from Beta to final product, the service will get better and that Apple will find places for improvement in the coming weeks.

Siri's co-founder, Norman Winarsky, says that blame could be put on the third party servers that pass along information to Siri. Winarsky added that he has no knowledge of what Apple has done with Siri since he sold it to Apple. The interest in Siri has brought new attention to some competitors like Cluzee, which is a new service now in the Android Market, and TellMe which has been available for Windows. However, when you put Siri together with TellMe, it is the former that comes out ahead. Just don't expect Siri to answer your questions about abortion or birth control until it is out of Beta.

source: AppleInsider

15 Comments
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posted on 30 Nov 2011, 23:33

1. bossmt_2 (Posts: 430; Member since: 13 Oct 2009)


Title is misleading, I was picturing Siri actually being John Hodgman.

posted on 30 Nov 2011, 23:50 5

2. pongkie (Posts: 496; Member since: 20 Aug 2011)


wp7 got pawned >< again, why dont they just admit they lost again and work harder.

posted on 01 Dec 2011, 00:39

3. fervid (Posts: 173; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


I believe the Internet Meme you were looking for is "pwned" originating from a wrong key typed in "owned", so you just misspelled a misspelling.

It wasn't about Windows Phones either...it only mentioned other apps available for Windows and Android phones. Usually not even developed by Microsoft or Android. In fact even the ones for the specific phones on iPhone and Android have nothing specific to the phone. All they do is record your voice and send it to a server for processing, so nothing is done by your phone. Put your phone into Airplane mode and all your cool little voice features you brag about your phone doing don't work. Somewhat useless all around in my opinion and only wastes valuable data to transmit. Hopefully the upcoming multi-cores will allow the phones to do the processing.

posted on 01 Dec 2011, 03:25

8. saiki4116 (Posts: 334; Member since: 31 Mar 2011)


its just not only about processing,its the database for recognition that wont let you to do offline voice recognition.when we speak the system either delivers or learns from our responses,and after a while the system database increases enormously,that there would be no way other than processing it on the cloud..

posted on 01 Dec 2011, 09:32

13. shafboy (Posts: 179; Member since: 26 Sep 2010)


I have a windows phone, I should be defending it here but I agree. Siri is better.

posted on 01 Dec 2011, 12:14

14. Penny (Posts: 1125; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)


WP7 user here. Siri is better, no doubt.

But before we start talking about WP7 getting sold at a pawn shop, let's realize that the commands the guy gave in the video were very much built for Siri. The guy knows that WP7's TellMe is not AI, but rather command-based, and he therefore avoids the commands that would make TellMe work properly.

End result, convincing people like you that TellMe doesn't work at all, which is easy to do because you already don't know how it works.

posted on 01 Dec 2011, 19:37

15. pongkie (Posts: 496; Member since: 20 Aug 2011)


at least MS shouldn't shrug off things like this. Google even admits siri is a big threat to their search business and they are working on similar stuff siri does.

I love MS im just disappointed that they are very slow these days unlike before. Saving up for the W8 tablet but the temptation of Apple and Android is very strong and they are fast to deliver.

posted on 01 Dec 2011, 23:00

16. Penny (Posts: 1125; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)


I think MS was slow to deliver in the Windows Mobile days because that's when they became complacent with their position in the market. With the advent of iOS and Android, Microsoft got a definite kick in the a**. Since then, it seems like Microsoft realizes that in the current mobile market, moving quicker than your competitors means a lot, and they have been moving very quickly with WP7.

There really is a lot to look forward to coming from Microsoft next year, and this is something I would argue even if I were not a WP7 user. Two of the things I am looking forward to most is Windows 8 (of course), and an official version of Kinect for Windows. Beyond this, some of the great apps I have seen hackers/developers working on for WP7 really indicates that the platform has a lot of potential and is going to be host to a lot of innovation.

posted on 01 Dec 2011, 00:46

4. clevername (Posts: 1428; Member since: 11 Jul 2008)


Its a republican AI? Newt Gingrich?

posted on 01 Dec 2011, 01:11 1

5. HTCOE (Posts: 420; Member since: 20 Nov 2011)


im getting the galaxy nexus anyways and btw has anyone else seen the Google Galaxy Nexus S twitter page @GalaxyNexusS

posted on 01 Dec 2011, 01:26

6. Stuntman (Posts: 711; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)


That was hilarious! rofl

posted on 01 Dec 2011, 01:28 3

7. Dr.Phil (Posts: 893; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


....why are people asking Siri about abortions to begin with? What is it suppose to help you decide whether to keep your child or not? I mean seriously people. It is just an app that is suppose to help you do stuff, find stuff, and has some funny sayings while doing it. It is not the super computer in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy".

posted on 01 Dec 2011, 05:38 1

9. isssak (Posts: 5; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


The video isn't really very fair. Some of those commands do actually work on Windows Phone 7, but like the iPhone need to be said in a specific way - just in this video, they're commanding in the way that the iPhone understands, and not TellMe.

posted on 01 Dec 2011, 08:07

12. bossmt_2 (Posts: 430; Member since: 13 Oct 2009)


I also think that it's unfair cause he's British. LIke you're supposed to understand anything they say.

On that note you're right. Just like Google Voice will do 90% of what Siri does and has been out for 2 years but never got press they all have their little ins and outs, and it also depends on what handset you get, and blah blah blah.

posted on 01 Dec 2011, 07:37

11. TheMaster (Posts: 4; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


"Create a meeting tomorrow at teen anal"

ROFLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!

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