Apple responds after Siri abortion answers debacle

Summary:Apple has offered an answer as to why Siri could not comment on a hot topic.

Apple found itself in trouble again thanks to its voice-command assistant software, Siri. The latest debacle came about after it was discovered that Siri had few answers when it came to providing information about medical facilities that offer services and information related to reproductive health matters.

The lack of information caused a firestorm particularly because Siri seems to retain information about so many other health and sex-related topics, but not requests about the morning-after pill nor abortions.

Unlike some other problems plaguing the iPhone 4S (such as "batterygate"), Apple has responded more swiftly this time, likely given the heated opinions surrounding this topic.

Here is a copy of the note that Apple CEO Tim Cook sent to Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation on November 30, as published to the NARAL Pro-Choice America blog:

Nancy, Thanks for your note.

Our customers use Siri to find out all types of information and while it can find a lot, it doesn't always find what you want. 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.

I appreciate you pointing this out.

Best Regards, Tim

Siri is not expected to emerge from beta mode until 2012.

Related:

Topics: Apple

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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