Google Employees listen to your Google Assistant’s queries — Recordings leaked online


Just after the arrival of the Google Voice Assistants, voice searches have become very easier and faster than before. We sends out our queries to Voice Assistant and they show us the results for that. Well, a new leak reveals that not only the voice assistant hears our queries but also some Google employees hear them.

Today morning, over 1000 recordings of Google voice queries have been leaked online that proves that some of the Google employees listen to our search queries. VRT NWS, a news organization run by a public broadcaster in the Flemish region of Belgium, said it “was able to listen to more than a thousand [Google Assistant] recordings” that it received from a Google subcontractor.

“In these recordings, we could clearly hear addresses and other sensitive information,” the VRT article said. “This made it easy for us to find the people involved and confront them with the audio recordings.”

VRT said it “let ordinary Flemish people hear some of their own recordings” and that these people confirmed that the recordings contained their voices.

On replying to this news, Google said that they take a handful of audio recording to manually review them by contractors to improves the response of Voice AI. Well, this amount is very less, about 0.2 percent of all requests. On leak issue, the tech giant said that one of their language reviewers has violated the data-security policies by leaking confidential Dutch audio data that Google has been investigating. They also mentioned that they will try to avoid these issues in the future.

Google has previously disclosed that it hires language experts to listen to recordings, and it defended the practice in today’s blog post.

“As part of our work to develop speech technology for more languages, we partner with language experts around the world who understand the nuances and accents of a specific language,” Google wrote. “These language experts review and transcribe a small set of queries to help us better understand those languages. This is a critical part of the process of building speech technology and is necessary to creating products like the Google Assistant.”

Google claims transcribing conversations in various languages is critical to building speech technology that understands all languages, accents and dialects. According to the company, reviewers only transcribe audio directed to Google, not background conversations or other noises.

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