Apple listens to some Siri recordings to make it better
Not everything Siri hears is completely private, according to the Guardian.
Ian SherrFormer Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. At CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
A team of contractors around the world reportedly listens to a random, small subset of the recordings Siri hears after people push its activation button or say "Hey Siri," according to a new report in the Guardian newspaper. The contractors then grade how Siri responded, identifying when it misunderstands what people say or activates at the wrong time.
The recordings don't have identifiable information, Apple told the paper, and they're analyzed in secure facilities. "All reviewers are under the obligation to adhere to Apple's strict confidentiality requirements," the company added. Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for further comment.
Apple's attempts to improve Siri aren't much different from
, who similarly ask reviewers to analyze some recordings as well. Each of the companies say it's a key way to help improve their systems.
"This information helps us train our speech recognition and natural language understanding systems, so Alexa can better understand your requests, and ensure the service works well for everyone," Amazon said in April.
"This is a critical part of the process of building speech technology, and is necessary to creating products like the Google Assistant," Google said earlier this month.