Alexa, a speaker that wants to make you feel good?

As everyone knows, Amazon’s up and coming project is not connected stores. Neither is the enhancement of the website that remains the world leader in e-commerce. We are talking here about the connected speaker, Alexa.

Indeed, in recent years, voice assistants are a gold mine for all industries that want to bet on this new technology.

And, it’s normal, since the following are at stake:

* the image of the company which, therefore, asserts its desire to become a leader in the field of innovation

* the positioning of the leading equipment in all homes

 

Shhh… Big Brother is listening!

If you’re wondering if Alexa is recording your conversations… The answer is yes! She records them, and she uses them.

Indeed, to offer a cutting edge device on the market, we must put forward a flawless device tool and be sure that the voice recognition system works perfectly. This philosophy is why Amazon employees are responsible for listening to audio recordings. Then, they must check Alexa’s response to a user’s request. According to a Bloomberg study, each employee treats around a thousand recordings per day.

If Alexa fails her mission and cannot answer a request, the incident is reported and analyzed later to help improve the configuration of the voice assistant.

 

Data collected but anonymity respected

Remember that the law in France, as in the United States, determines a very specific scope for the use of personal data of individuals. Although French legislation is much stricter in this area, the legal body guarantees the anonymity of those surveyed. As soon as information is audible that is likely to identify the users of the speaker, the audio sample is automatically discarded.

First of all, the requests addressed to Alexa are the only ones that can be identified. Indeed, the recording starts only when the system recognizes the name “Alexa.”

Then, like with any entity collecting sensitive data, you always have the choice to authorize the census of your personal information or opt out. To do this, uncheck the “help develop new features” and “improve transcription accuracy” options in your account settings.

 

Voice assistants have been investing in the market for over five years already. Not surprisingly, there is the hegemony of GAFA in this sector of activity: Assistant (Google), Siri (Apple), and Alexa (Amazon). All that was missing was Facebook, which has just announced that it has been working on the creation of a voice assistant since 2018 that will be based on artificial intelligence on the one hand and augmented and virtual reality on the other. No marketing date has yet been mentioned.

 

However, one is entitled to wonder if all these devices make us move towards a society relying more and more on assistance, and therefore, more spied upon…

 Survey Bloomberg

 

To read: Surveillance microphones: public wiretapping