And for a change, Apple is closing the year with yet another process in the head. This time the company is being sued by vocal artist Galit Gura-Eini, who claims that the Cupertino company used their voice in the Hebrew version of Siri without permission.
According to a CTech report, the Israeli broadcaster claimed to have problems with the kind of content her voice is persuaded to say (such as swearing or phrases of a sexual nature). Therefore, Gura-Eini asks for $ 66,000 as compensation for moral damages in the lawsuit that was filed last week in a district court in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Just like in other regions of the world, the radio’s voice was recorded in 2007 – the same year that Apple launched the first iPhone, and long before IAs and virtual assistants were conceivable by the public. The recording was made at a subsidiary of Nuance Communications, a company specializing in artificial intelligence and speech recognition, to be used in future applications where a voice recorded in Hebrew was required. However, the radio broadcaster gave Nuance permission to use only “legitimate needs.”
In addition to being the voice of Siri, Gura-Eini also gives voice to the Hebrew version of Waze – with which she has no problem, since in it her voice is used only to indicate directions and rules of transit.
In the process, the radio broadcaster says that because of her profession, her voice is identified and associated with her personality, and when people use Siri to make her say inappropriate things, it’s as if Apple had turned her into a vehicle for humiliating speeches.
In an official statement on the case, Apple’s lawyer claims that the company did nothing wrong in the transaction and that it legally acquired the right to use the voice of Gura-Eini with Nuance. Finally, Apple claims that what Siri does is nothing more than using an algorithm to join syllables that were recorded separately by the radio.