The Siri voice-recognition technology of the Apple iPhone 4S' smartphone accessories has become the flashpoint of a recent controversy. Upon being asked by users for directions and information regarding abortion and reproductive services clinics, the application directs them to Crisis Pregnancy Centers, which are in fact pro-choice advocacy organizations.
According to PC Magazine, this anomaly has been reported by Siri users in Washington, D.C. and New York City. It is provoking a certain degree of ire and confusion, because Siri does not neglect to provide information on other potentially controversial products and services. Erectile dysfunction drugs and escort services are just a few of these.
The news source reports that Apple responded by claiming Siri had not in any way been pre-programmed to avoid abortion clinic results, and that the issue likely stemmed from technological difficulties slated to be fixed when Siri comes out of the beta testing stage.
It is suspected that the actual word "abortion" may be what causes Siri to respond in the manner reported, since it comes with certain sociopolitical implications. For example, the application provides information on nearby Planned Parenthood facilities if the user asks specifically for that organization.
Apple Insider reported that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) took significant umbrage regarding this matter before Apple released its explanation.