Oh dear. Artificial Intelligence is just that: artificial. And it's something Apple's learning the hard way right now with a bit of a PR-storm raging in the US.
Cupertino has been forced to insist that Siri (you know, not a real person) is not opposed to abortion. This after various people tried asking where they could find an abortion clinic, only for the personal assistant to forward them to counsellors who encourage expectant mums to go through with their pregnancies.
You can tell Apple is a bit ruffled on this whole subject because it has come out and commented on the record - something it very rarely does unless it's trying to flog us the latest bit of iTat/iGod (delete depending on preference.)
“Our customers want to use Siri to find out all types of information, and while it can find a lot, it doesn't always what you want,” Apple representative Natalie Kerris told the NY Times.
“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.”
Does make sense - after all, Siri is in beta as she says. Plus, although it relies on the likes of Wolfram Alpha and Yelp, it does work better with those commands that are most commonly used and learns over time. We bet there are more people around asking how the weather looks in their neck of the woods than asking where they can get a termination.
We can't help wondering if this is also a bit of a PR stunt by the pro-abortion lobby in the US - especially in a country where large numbers of people who don't reside in the cosmopolitan enclaves of New York and California etc do live in a very religious, conservative bubble.
Either way, it's got us all talking. And at least it won't cause such problems here in Blighty since Apple hasn't deigned to give us location searches via Siri yet.
Plus, on a random note - if you do have Siri, try asking her how to hide a body. Hours of fun!