Apple suspends Siri response grading

by Volker Weber

In response to concerns raised by a Guardian story last week over how recordings of Siri queries are used for quality control, Apple is suspending the program world wide. Apple says it will review the process that it uses, called grading, to determine whether Siri is hearing queries correctly, or being invoked by mistake.

In addition, it will be issuing a software update in the future that will let Siri users choose whether they participate in the grading process or not.

I am less concerned about grading and more about storing. But it's encouraging that we start having a discussion about this matter.

Apple needs to set "allowSiriServerLogging" to false by default and let users opt in, without any dark pattern. Also, give users an opportunity to grade Siri by themselves, on device.

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I think transparency is super important here and to give the user control over its data. However, it should also made clear why this "grading" is required.
My assumption is, that they train some neural networks or use some other supervised learning algorithm. In that case, more labeled data just makes the model better.
Everybody should be able to make the decision between quality and privacy regarding personal data.

Moritz Petersen, 2019-08-02

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