Apple's Siri, an Autistic Boy's Best Friend

#Health

Sun, Oct 19th, 2014 21:00 by capnasty NEWS

On The New York Times, Judith Newman looks at how Siri, the "intelligent personal assistant" found on Apple's iPhone, could become a best friend for a 13-year-old autistic boy. Siri's advantage, it appears, is not only that it "encourages polite language," but that it is a "nonjudgmental friend and teacher."

For most of us, Siri is merely a momentary diversion. But for some, it’s more. My son’s practice conversation with Siri is translating into more facility with actual humans. Yesterday I had the longest conversation with him that I’ve ever had. Admittedly, it was about different species of turtles and whether I preferred the red-eared slider to the diamond-backed terrapin. This might not have been my choice of topic, but it was back and forth, and it followed a logical trajectory. I can promise you that for most of my beautiful son’s 13 years of existence, that has not been the case.

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