Apple trains AI models on Spotify audiobook narrators 

Occurred: February 2023

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Apple used trained the voices of voiceover artists and authors without their explicit consent to train the AI models powering its AI audiobooks service, resulting in complaints that they were being used to train their own replacements.

Spotify audiobook narrators and authors discovered that a clause in their agreement with Findaway Voices, a audiobook distributor owned by Spotify, allowed Apple to use their audiobook files for 'machine learning training and models'. 

Some actors and authors pointed out that the clause was not explicitly pointed out to them when they signed updated agreements after Findaway had been bought by Spotify in June 2022. 

Apple launched a range of audio Apple Books early January 2023, claiming that its new AI audiobook service was only available to titles for which it was not economic to hire an actor.


Operator: Apple
Developer: Apple
Country: Global
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Train AI models
Technology: Speech-to-speech; Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning
Issue: Employment
Transparency: Governance