When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Future

Exclusive: The French Hacker Who Cracked Siri, Apple’s New Voice Recognition App

Both sides of the Atlantic have been buzzing since a hacker busted into Siri, the new voice-recognition software on the iPhone 4S. Meet the man who cracked Apple’s latest secret gem. But is it legal?

The iPhone4S
The iPhone4S
Clemence Dunand


PARIS - He is the latest geek hero, having managed to unlock the mysteries of Apple's voice recognition software. But this time, we are not facing some obscure hacker, working in isolation under some creepy pseudonym. He is Romain Goyet, the co-founder and technical direction of Applidium, a well-established mobile applications company that is part of the Paris-based faberNovel new technology group. We caught up with this hacker to hear about his process and what his breakthrough could mean.

Les Echos: You "cracked" Siri. What does that mean, concretely?
Romain Goyet: You have to understand how Siri functions. To put it simply, Siri is a voice recorder. The program records what you say and sends the information to Apple. There, they have large computers that analyze everything and send the results back to the iPhone, which then executes the command. We wanted to know how that dialogue worked. In order to do that, we hacked into the channels of communication by having our own machines send the data, and we watched what happened. There is an enormous amount of data exchanged between the iPhone and Apple. The servers even give a confidence score to each word that the user speaks!


Was it difficult?
Everything is obviously very protected by Apple, with encryption. So first of all, we had to find a way to get around the encryption, and then we had to understand what we had decoded. That represented about 3 to 4 full days of work for me, spread out over about two weeks.

Keep reading...Show less
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Society

End Of Roe v. Wade, The World Is Watching

As the Supreme Court decides to overturn the 1973 decision that guaranteed abortion rights, many fear an imminent threat to abortion rights in the U.S. But in other countries, the global fight for sexual and reproductive rights is going in different directions.

"Don't abort my right" At 2019 pro-choice march In Toulouse, France.

Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via ZUMA
Hannah Steinkopf-Frank and Sophia Constantino

PARIS — Nearly 50 years after it ensured the right to abortion to Americans, the United States Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade case, meaning that millions of women in the U.S. may lose their constitutional right to abortion.

The groundbreaking decision is likely to set off a range of restrictions on abortion access in multiple states in the U.S., half of which are expected to implement new bans on the procedure. Thirteen have already passed "trigger laws" that will automatically make abortion illegal.

U.S. President Joe Biden called the ruling "a tragic error" and urged individual states to enact laws to allow the procedure.

In a country divided on such a polarizing topic, the decision is likely to cause major shifts in American law and undoubtedly spark outrage among the country’s pro-choice groups. Yet the impact of such a momentous shift, like others in the United States, is also likely to reverberate around the world — and perhaps, eventually, back again in the 50 States.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ