Siri’s Hebrew voice is suing Apple

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HomePod siri
Apple has another lawsuit on its hands.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The female broadcaster and voice artist whose voice is used for the Hebrew version of Siri is reportedly suing Apple. Galit Gura-Eini, who has also provided the local voice for Waze, claims that Apple used her voice without permission.

Her lawsuit also claims that people have used the Siri voice to make her voice say various sexual, racist, or violent things.

As with many of the original Siri voices, Galit Gura-Eini’s voice was recorded as a generic voice years before Apple launched Siri. In her case, it was done in 2007 by a local subsidiary of the company Nuance Communications, which specializes in A.I. and voice recognition tech. According to the lawsuit, Galit Gura-Eini gave Nuance permission only to use the recordings in “legitimate” instances.

The broadcaster claims she first became aware that Siri used her voice for its Hebrew localized version when it launched in 2016. Earlier in 2018, she says she approached Apple about removing the voice, but it refused.

The lawsuit suggests that Gura-Eini’s voice is “widely identified and associated” with her own live persona. Furthermore, users have taken to using the voice to make it say inappropriate things. This amounts to turning the plaintiff’s voice, “into a vehicle for improper and humiliating speech.”

Apple, for its part, says it’s done nothing wrong. Apple’s lawyer says that the voice recordings were obtained legally and Galit Gura-Eini does not possess legal ownerships of them. A quote attributed to the company says that, “Her voice on the Siri app is nothing but syllables joined together by an algorithm.”

The lawsuit is requesting $66,000. It was filed this week in a Tel Aviv District Court.

Source: Calcalist