Echo Frames
When you look at the list of voice-voice-activated hardware Amazon announced this week, even those who are not paranoid have to stop and think. The standout “Think About This…” device is called Echo Frames, a pair of audio-only smart glasses. They will read you your notifications and offer optional support for Google Assistant. And, yes,... Continue Reading →
Bad Alexa
Some people believe that Alexa is listening all the time. This is true. Some people believe that Alexa records every word for posterity. This is false. Some people believe that having an Amazon Echo increases their risk of being hacked. This is also false. But, there’s more to the story.... Continue Reading →
westworld
Remember that talk you had with your parents when you were just starting to notice the opposite sex? It’s time to think about how that talk is going to sound when you add loving, committed relationships with your new AI system to the mix.... Continue Reading →

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 →
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 →