“Like A Scene From Fifty Shades of Grey”: Contractors Lift The Lid On What Siri And Alexa Really Hear

Bangkok, Thailand - July 27, 2019 : Apple Watch Nike+ Series 4 showing its screen with Siri, Apple's voice-activated digital assistant.
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Apple and Amazon contractors have revealed just how “hilarious” some of the conversations recorded by digital assistants like Alexa and Siri really are.

In an article published by The Times, whistleblowers shared some of the interactions they inadvertently overheard when they were hired by the companies to transcribe user’s comments, in order to improve the automated speech recognition technology.

While there has been much speculation made about the scale to which these companies use voice technologies to listen in to the live’s of users, the contractors confirmed the snooping only begins after someone uses the ‘wake word’ i.e. “Alexa” or “Hey Siri”.

An Amazon contractor said some users would “hit on” the digital assistants, while some even decided to share their sexual fantasies.

Another recalled a user taking to Alexa to order sex toys and children sharing their home address and phone number with the piece of technology.

From Apple, one contractor told the publication they were hired to transcribe around 1,300 snippets of Siri conversations each day, while another recalled a conversation they had heard which was “reminiscent of a scene from erotic novel and film Fifty Shades of Grey“.

Apple was recently forced to apologise after it was revealed contractors had heard everything from drug deals to couples having sex while assessing Siri’s recordings.

The company has since made the feature an opt-in one.

 

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