Galit Gura-Eini files NIS 250,000 lawsuit, claiming Apple’s use of her voice was illegal.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
The Israeli radio broadcaster and voice artist said she discovered earlier in the year that Apple uses her voice when speaking Hebrew for Siri, a company app that was launched in Hebrew in 2016. When she asked for her voice to be removed from the app, they refused, stating that “Her voice on the Siri app is nothing but syllables joined together by an algorithm.”
The tech giant’s local lawyer, Amir Levy, also contends that the company can legally use Gura-Eini’s recordings due to their rights to the speech-recognition technology of software company Nuance Communications, for whom she originally recorded her voice for pay in 2007.
Through her own lawyer, however, Gura-Eini contends that she only allowed Nuance to use her recordings for “legitimate” purposes. Apple’s Siri, she alleges, has been using her voice as a “vehicle for improper and humiliating speech,” including sexual, racist and violent language, said the report. Since her voice is “widely identified and associated” with her, she filed the lawsuit in a Tel Aviv District Court, claiming damages, according to Calcalist.
Nuance provides the voice recognition technology for Apple as well as for its own Dragon dictation software that allows people to speak naturally while the computer converts what they say into text. It does not handle the artificial intelligence aspect of the digital personal assistant. Siri was launched within the operating system of the tech giant’s iPhone 4S in 2011.
Waze recently dropped Gura-Eini’s voice from the list of Hebrew voice narrators.