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The Rise of Voice Command Gizmos.

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The Rise of Voice Command Gizmos.

Old 14th Dec 2017, 12:02
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The Rise of Voice Command Gizmos.

Siri, Gizmo,Alexa, Amazon, Google........those little boxes you can boss around at home or now - in your car, that save you more physical exercise than you manage to avoid already.


Aside from the data gathering questions and cost - think I'll skip this round of tech advancement.
I don't mind getting up to change the thermostat, or picking up bathroom tissue next time I visit the shops.
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Old 14th Dec 2017, 12:57
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Whenever the Memsahib is in the car with me, there is voice activation......
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Old 14th Dec 2017, 13:04
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Originally Posted by meadowrun View Post
Siri, Gizmo,Alexa, Amazon, Google........those little boxes you can boss around at home or now - in your car, that save you more physical exercise than you manage to avoid already.
You missed out wife.
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Old 14th Dec 2017, 13:20
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Originally Posted by Prophead View Post
Voice activation is good whilst driving.

Why anyone would want a listening device installed in their home however I do not know.
Precisely my thoughts. IIRC, there has already been one criminal case where one of the providers was asked to hand over the voice records from their servers as possible evidence of a crime in a house fitted with one, so it's clear that all the companies operating these things do leave the mics open with live voice data being sent back to their servers to some degree. even when there may not have been a "key word" to trigger recording.

Quite why anyone would willingly want a company effectively listening in on everything they and their kids say within range of one of these things is beyond me. I wonder what their response would be if you asked them to just accept being voice bugged 24/7?

Voice activation when driving is different, as it's only the electronics in your car doing the voice recognition. it's not sending the data somewhere, perhaps in another country, to be analysed, and for some things it does work very well. Making hands free phone calls seems to work well in my car, but speaking an address to the sat nav is not such a great experience.
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Old 14th Dec 2017, 13:30
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So when I tell Alexa to "shut the f*** up" I could be had down the road for uttering an obscenity?????
S**t !!
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Old 14th Dec 2017, 13:32
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Can someone who has one do the following test?

Sit near to device and talk about a particular product. Mention the product name a dozen or so times. Then report back how long before targeted ads for that product show up on your browser.
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Old 14th Dec 2017, 13:46
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
...but speaking an address to the sat nav is not such a great experience.
A friend demonstrating his all-singing, all-dancing sat nav, kept repeating the address to it, getting louder and higher pitched each time. Eventually I said to him, "You should give it the same name as your dog. He ignores you too." Harsh but true...
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Old 14th Dec 2017, 14:10
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Prop head, Siri settings allow you to either have it listen for “Hey Siri”, or await a press and hold of the home button. (Or equivalent on Macs). Or it can be turned off.

And I trust Apple a lot more than google or amazon. Of the three only two report revenue from the sale of data.
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Old 14th Dec 2017, 14:19
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it's only the electronics in your car doing the voice recognition. it's not sending the data somewhere

Apparently there is a mobile device(s) with capabilities similar to the home version....as in...... "Mildred...order paper towels".
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Old 14th Dec 2017, 14:33
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Originally Posted by meadowrun View Post
Apparently there is a mobile device(s) with capabilities similar to the home version....as in...... "Mildred...order paper towels".
There's only one-way connectivity from my car to the outside world - it can receive radio signals and that's it, so no chance of it sending data to anyone.
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Old 14th Dec 2017, 14:56
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Maybe Mildred doesn't rely on radio signals?
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Old 14th Dec 2017, 15:41
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
There's only one-way connectivity from my car to the outside world - it can receive radio signals and that's it, so no chance of it sending data to anyone.
But not mine. With Bluetooth to my smart phone it tells the world if it is stationary more than 100 metres from a junction. It also reports if it is moving slowly in traffic. If that seems bad it can also send tracking data back to base.
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Old 14th Dec 2017, 15:46
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You can turn off a fair bit of that if you want to. You don't have to leave Bluetooth in "discover" mode on both your car and phone, for example. It'll still work fine in your car once it's been initially paired, but neither your car nor your phone will constantly broadcast your Bluetooth ID as you drive around. If you want to pair your phone to a new device that you've never paired with before, just turn discovery on, pair the two, then turn it off again.

I can't see any good reason for leaving your Bluetooth (or your Wifi, come to that) broadcasting when it has absolutely no need to. All that does is give information away that others (AKA Google with the drive-by Wifi logging scam they pulled with their Streetview cars) may choose to misuse if the wish.

AFAIK, the only benefit of leaving a Bluetooth phone in discover mode, so it's broadcasting it's ID all the time, is if you wish to indulge in a bit of "toothing" on the train, perhaps................ (it's a fake story, anyway: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toothing )
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Old 14th Dec 2017, 16:30
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Old 14th Dec 2017, 19:39
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Whenever I am at leisure and ask Siri for some trivial information, she comes through in a stellar manner. Whenever I am in an imperative need of help, more often than not, she goes TU.

I recall reading that many of the gizmos we witnessed on the original Star Trek series are now available at a Tesco/Costco/Amazon retailer, and some of the more "exotic" technologies are in the proof of concept stage in places like MIT.
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Old 14th Dec 2017, 19:45
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There's a car being advertised on the radio now with "Alexa built in"..... then at the end of the advert it says "requires compatible Android phone“. So what if you have an iPhone or Android phone that isn't compatible? Tough, presumably.
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Old 14th Dec 2017, 19:58
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The thing to remember with Siri, Alexa etc is that they are extremely dumb. The voice recognition isn't done in the box, The cheap box is just a microphone, speaker and internet interface,

When you give a command to one of these units that command is not being processed by the unit in your house, it is being sent back to a server somewhere, probably in another country, and the audio from your voice is being processed and interpreted by that remote server (which has loads more processing power that the little box could ever hold).

Whether many users realise that these boxes are just always-on microphones, sending data continuously to someone else's servers I have no idea, but I suspect that they don't It'll be interesting to see how many more criminal cases use evidence recorded by these systems, as on the face of it they are a gift for law enforcement. Having recording bugs in loads of houses, all legally installed by their owners, has to be a gift to law enforcement..
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Old 14th Dec 2017, 20:12
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If I could get past having an all-listening device in the home, which I can't....

Just what on earth is the point of these things?
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Old 14th Dec 2017, 20:25
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Originally Posted by EGLD View Post
If I could get past having an all-listening device in the home, which I can't....

Just what on earth is the point of these things?
The point is exactly the same as the point of social media, like FB, it's a means to offer a cheap (or free) gadget or app that, at first sight, seems to offer something for nothing, (or very little), with the real intention of gathering data about people that can be sold or used to enhance sales in some way.

Knowing what people are interested in, by listening in to the conversations, tracking where they go on the internet or where the travel to and who they talk to on the phone, is all valuable data to marketeers, who are always looking at ways to better target potential customers.
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Old 14th Dec 2017, 20:56
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
it is being sent back to a server somewhere, probably in another country, and the audio from your voice is being processed and interpreted by that remote server
Probably a human on zero hours minimum wage.
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