Apple listens to some Siri recordings to make it better2019-07-29 17:40 by Daniela
Tags: Apple, Siri
Earlier this year, it was revealed that Alexa and then Google Assistant secretly spy on users. Now it turns out Apple's voice assistant Siri also has humans listening to customers' queries. An Apple contractor shared Siri's quality-control practices with The Guardian last week.
As with Google and Amazon, Apple utilizes human contractors who listen to a small number of user recordings captured by a personal assistant — Siri, in this case. The contractors then grade how Siri responded, identifying when it misunderstands what people say or it activates at the wrong time.
Siri, which is built in to the iPhone, Apple Watch and HomePod smart speaker, is activated when someone says "Hey, Siri" – but the artificial intelligence often begins operating by mistake.
"The sound of a zip, Siri often hears as a trigger," the contractor said. "There have been countless instances of recordings featuring private discussions between doctors and patients, business deals, seemingly criminal dealings, sexual encounters and so on." "These recordings are accompanied by user data showing location, contact details and app data."
Apple said only a random subset — less than 1% of daily Siri activations — were part of the grading scheme, and each of these was just a few seconds long.
"A small portion of Siri requests are analysed to improve Siri and dictation. User requests are not associated with the user's Apple ID," the company said.
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