Data Science

Posts I've written about Data Science. Subscribe to my newsletter to make sure you don't miss anything.

Can Alexa Lie?

Echo Glowing Red Ring
There was a recent tabloid piece featuring a video of a woman asking Alexa if it was connected to the CIA. At the time, the Echo Dot she was speaking to did not respond to the question. She asked a few times, and each time the Echo was silent. Conspiracy theorists weighed in. It was an amusing video, but the Daily Mail’s clickbait headline raises a legitimate question: Can Alexa lie? Continue Reading →
robots took my job
Before qualifying for assistance under the Universal Minimum Guaranteed Income Program Act of 2021 (also known as the “U-Min” bill, which guarantees workers displaced by robots a living wage), Joe was a CPA and a tax auditing partner at a Big Four accounting firm. Continue Reading →
Digital Transformation
The phrase “digital transformation” is so overused that it may be on the brink of its own transformation from a business imperative to a hackneyed refrain. Clichés aside, digital transformation "is" a business imperative and time is the enemy. So, let’s have a look at seven brain-busting steps that will enable you to create value in your organization through digital transformation. Continue Reading →
Alexa Echo ASR NLU
If you let your imagination run wild in the world of automatic speech recognition (ASR) and natural language understanding (NLU), and you throw in a little fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD), you can come up with several illegal uses for systems such as Alexa Voice Service, Google Home, Siri, and Cortana that will give you pause. Just for fun, let’s play pretend in our world of infinite possibilities. Continue Reading →

Alexa, The Killer App

The superstar of CES® 2017 was not a car, or a robot, or even a TV; it was Alexa Voice Service (AVS), the software that allows you to control compatible devices with your voice. Various reports estimated there were 700–1,100 Alexa-controllable products at the show. I can't verify the number, but "and it works with Alexa" was the running gag at CES. The familiar Amazon/Alexa logo seemed to be everywhere. Continue Reading →
Monochromatic Crowd
I'm not really worried about rogue computers threatening our lives. I'm worried about the small number of programmers and coders charged with realizing the financial and political goals of their patrons. Could a ubiquitous social network skew or even direct an election? Could a traffic control system delay certain people from getting to work on time? Could an AI-enhanced financial services company deny loans or insurance due to zip code or race because it is the "best outcome" based on its programming? Could we train the AI that controls our news, communications and entertainment to restrict us to our comfort zones without even realizing what we've done? Continue Reading →

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