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Nitro


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Posted Thu Dec 22nd, 2011 2:28am Post subject: Siri's Return Reputation Under Suspicion of being Fawlty

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/violetblue/why-the-problem-with-siri-matters/853

Was someone on the Siri, ( the "assistant app" in the Apple store that is fairly popular ), development team a religious, pro-life fanatic who snuck some not-so-liberal design principles into the applications "nature"?

The suspicion is not so crazy-paranoid, especially if you've ever written a software program in your life ( read: php, perl, VB, jax, html....erm, yeah...these don't 'count' in terms of real software engineering, sorry but there's big kids and adults and the two don't jibe 'under the hood' ). Point is, a software engineer, particularly a savvy, experienced one, could very easily design a program with a whollllllll lotta 'default' behaviors that would strike most people as behaviors that should not be 'default'.

Like, plotting against someone you don't know and never will, behind their back, simply because you don't like what they write should not be a default behavior and isn't, as far as I know, considered either socially acceptable nor particularly intelligent.

We know that pro-lifers have done some really crazy stuff. For example, starting The Army of God. A few members, I believe, were guilty of murdering doctors who worked in clinics that offered women abortions should they so choose.

The article to the link above indicates Siri has some problems with women finding rape counseling centers and abortion clinics. Hmmm....on first glance most would think,"Meh, just some trivial glitch." I wouldn't even be surprised if some of Siri's female users first blamed themselves for Siri returning 'pro-life counseling' centers. But Siri has been put to the query test over and over lately and isn't really coming out smelling so particularly 'enlightened' when it comes to womens issue....sorry, but the question,"Who and how many were responsible for designing Siri?" is certainly credible and the answer to that question is important.

I think many of you can imagine lots of ramifications of malfunctioning software as those that are 'life critical'. That's a no-brainer.

But what about search engines who are designed not just to get you results, but to get results *in your best interests* as determined by people you don't know? What do you think of that?

Really? Wow.

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