Amazon Alexa and its competitors

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RTH10260
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Re: Amazon Alexa and its competitors

#51

Post by RTH10260 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:37 am

crosspost
Newly Released Amazon Patent Shows Just How Much Creepier Alexa Can Get
PETER DOCKRILL 28 MAY 2019
A newly revealed patent application filed by Amazon is raising privacy concerns over an envisaged upgrade to the company's smart speaker systems. This change would mean that, by default, the devices end up listening to and recording everything you say in their presence.

Alexa, Amazon's virtual assistant system that runs on the company's Echo series of smart speakers, works by listening out for a 'wakeword' that tells the device to turn on its extended speech recognition systems in order to respond to spoken commands.

On Amazon's devices, the wakeword is 'Alexa', but similar systems control how Apple devices work ('Hey Siri') and also Google's ('Hey Google'), not to mention products from other tech companies.

In theory, Alexa-enabled devices will only record what you say directly after the wakeword, which is then uploaded to Amazon, where remote servers use speech recognition to deduce your meaning, then relay commands back to your local speaker.

But one issue in this flow of events, as Amazon's recently revealed patent application argues, is it means that anything you say before the wakeword isn't actually heard.

"A user may not always structure a spoken command in the form of a wakeword followed by a command (eg. 'Alexa, play some music')," the Amazon authors explain in their patent application, which was filed back in January, but only became public last week.

"Instead, a user may include the command before the wakeword (eg. 'Play some music, Alexa') or even insert the wakeword in the middle of a command (eg. 'Play some music, Alexa, the Beatles please'). While such phrasings may be natural for a user, current speech processing systems are not configured to handle commands that are not preceded by a wakeword."

To overcome this barrier, Amazon is proposing an effective workaround: simply record everything the user says all the time, and figure it out later.

Rather than only record what is said after the wakeword is spoken, the system described in the patent application would effectively continuously record all speech, then look for instances of commands issued by a person.

"The [proposed] system is configured to capture speech that precedes and/or follows a wakeword," the application explains, "such that the speech associated with the command and wakeword can be included together and considered part of a single utterance that may be processed by a system."


https://www.sciencealert.com/creepy-new ... rom-now-on

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Orlylicious
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Re: Amazon Alexa and its competitors

#52

Post by Orlylicious » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:59 pm

We have 4 Echos and a Dot, they are awesome. You can hit the mute button on each device, or guess what -- Unplug it! Instant privacy, no power, no recording. That works :lol:

By far we use it most for music, the Echo 2nd Gen has Dolby bass. I can say right now, "Alexa, play Streisand and Sinatra I Have Got A Crush On You" and boom, gorgeous sounds synced perfectly on all speakers. Or even say, "Alexa, play songs like the Star Trek theme" and she will. And while you're listening, you can add a song to a playlist or even make a new one, just by saying it to Alexa. With two Echos you make a stereo pair and get L and R channels. In the 90's, I paid 6 figures for what essentially is in these objects :shock: . If you mute all but one, it can hear the commands. I also get a beep at med time, set wakeup to any song I want, keep items for shopping (you just say, get milk, when you get to the store you open the app and it's done), etc. You can get TV audio "Alexa play CNN on TuneIn" -- gosh, I bet I could get Freedom Friday! But I don't want her to hear it.

Any recording or storage is going to be deleted quickly, there are 100 million devices+. Like I said, just unplug it if you need privacy, otherwise Alexa does great and everyone we know who has it LOVES it.

When I'm speaking with Amazon associates, I always ask, where is Alex? Enough with the girls, let's have a hot guy voice. Alex, make me coffee! :thumbs: :smoking:
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Re: Amazon Alexa and its competitors

#53

Post by MN-Skeptic » Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:09 pm

Well, that was interesting. I went to renew my Sirius radio and add all access (i.e. streaming) so I can listen on my iPhone, and when they told me the cost for the year, including taxes and fees, would be $328.68, I said, Oh, no, just cancel my account. At which point they offered me the service including streaming for $156.48 in total for year and I said, Ok, I have that in my budget.

The extra interesting part? They gave me a promotion code to get a FREE Amazon Echo Dot! Cool. The comments in this thread have piqued my interest, so I think it will be fun to try out the Echo Dot.
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tek
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Re: Amazon Alexa and its competitors

#54

Post by tek » Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:12 pm

Off Topic
Every year I have the "I'm going to cancel" conversation with Sirius. It's like a stupid game.
They offered me a dot, but I declined.
There's no way back
from there to here

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Re: Amazon Alexa and its competitors

#55

Post by MN-Skeptic » Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:16 pm

tek wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:12 pm
Off Topic
Every year I have the "I'm going to cancel" conversation with Sirius. It's like a stupid game.
They offered me a dot, but I declined.
I figured I'd try the Dot out and if I didn't like it, I have plenty of folks I can give it to.
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Northland10
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Re: Amazon Alexa and its competitors

#56

Post by Northland10 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:00 pm

On Star Trek, you had to say 'computer' before asking it to do something. If it was good enough for Picard to ask for a Mozart quartet, or to blow up the ship, it should be good enough for Alexis users.
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Re: Amazon Alexa and its competitors

#57

Post by RTH10260 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:25 am

How to use the Alexa app in Windows 10

By Lance Whitney in Software on June 21, 2019, 12:53 PM PST

You can chat with Alexa directly from your Windows 10 PC. Learn how to install, customize, and use the Alexa Windows 10 app.

You can call on Amazon Alexa for help in Windows 10 without an Echo device nearby—the secret lies in Amazon's Alexa app for Windows. Through this app, you can summon Alexa either by clicking an on-screen button or just saying "Alexa" via a hands-free mode. After Alexa pops up, you can ask questions, request information, check your calendar and other personal services, and access different skills and tasks. You can also tweak various options to control the Alexa app.

Why use Alexa in Windows 10 when Cortana is available?

Maybe you have an Echo device through which you access your calendar, to-do list, and other information. Maybe you find Alexa more helpful than Cortana. Or maybe you'd just like to try out another voice assistant beyond Cortana. To use the Alexa app, you don't need an Echo device, but you do need an Amazon account.


https://www.techrepublic.com/article/ho ... indows-10/

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tek
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Re: Amazon Alexa and its competitors

#58

Post by tek » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:27 am

Or maybe you want yet another service recording and storing everything you say.
There's no way back
from there to here

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Re: Amazon Alexa and its competitors

#59

Post by Slim Cognito » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:45 am

Orlylicious wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:59 pm
We have 4 Echos and a Dot, they are awesome. You can hit the mute button on each device, or guess what -- Unplug it! Instant privacy, no power, no recording. That works :lol:
...
When I'm speaking with Amazon associates, I always ask, where is Alex? Enough with the girls, let's have a hot guy voice. Alex, make me coffee! :thumbs: :smoking:
I mostly use her to play music for the parrot when I'm gone. I usually play the Monkees or Weird Al . She seems to like them best. I like that I can turn the music (or house lights) on and off from my phone. Hubs mumbles so he's not so enthused.

I want an option to call her Hal, along with Hal's voice. Then I want to make impossible demands so she has to tell me "I can't do that."
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Re: Amazon Alexa and its competitors

#60

Post by Slim Cognito » Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:11 pm

I just told Alexa to add Spic & Span to my shopping list. She responded with "I added (beep) and Span to your shopping list.
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Re: Amazon Alexa and its competitors

#61

Post by AndyinPA » Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:13 pm

:rotflmao:

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