Almost a month after a report by the Guardian reveal that employees were paid to listen to Siri’s recordings, Apple announced what steps it will take to improve its assistant. The company also apologized for the practice that, according to her, did not follow its principles.
Apple says that after suspending listening to audios, it made a “careful review” of its practices and policies. “We realized that we are not fully fulfilling our high ideals and, therefore, we apologize,” said the company.
“As we announced earlier, we have suspended Siri’s rating program. We plan to resume later in the fall [do hemisfério norte, entre setembro e dezembro], when software updates are released to our users, ”he continued.
According to the company, the analysis of Siri by employees will have some changes before being resumed. From now on, the company will discard audios by default and use computer generated transcripts to improve the assistant.
The recordings will only be analyzed by humans if there is authorization from the users, who will have the option to cancel the practice at any time. “We hope that many people choose to help Siri improve, knowing that Apple respects their data and has strong privacy controls,” said the company.
Finally, only Apple employees will have access to the audios released with users’ permission. The team will be instructed to delete recordings that were accidentally made by Siri.
Analysis of Siri’s recordings was suspended in late July by Apple, which had at least 300 outsourced employees in Ireland to carry out the task. They were fired last week and criticized the company’s stance in this case.
“Apple, recruiting through third-party companies in Ireland, takes absolutely no responsibility for the employment of service providers and their treatment at work,” said one employee. Guardian.
“They do what they want and when they finish their project or screw it up (like what happened), they ask your company to let you go, what it does,” he says. Apple is expected to resume employee audio analysis of Siri from an iOS update, expected in October.