By Joshua A. Halstead
As a disabled person who relies on speech recognition software to complete a range of daily writing tasks (from emails to book chapters), I am no stranger to the universe of voice assistants, having cut my teeth on Dragon Dictate in the ’90s.
Though I’m used to the software knowing my voice, that it now knows my location is uncanny. This discovery occurred on a morning stroll when Siri spelled “Urth Caffé” correctly, rather than, as was expected, scribing “earth café.” This is when I realized that my assistant had turned into a stalker.
In this short article, I argue that Apple’s decision to integrate user location data into Siri’s speech recognition system created a product that contributes to gentrification and could further marginalize disabled people.