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Alexa, Voice Assistant, a friend or a foe?

Source: huffingtonpost

People are opting for Alexa just the way they are falling in love with Google Assistant or Siri or some other magical voice in a smart speaker. What makes a smart speaker “Smart?” The smart speakers are embedded with Artificial Intelligence which is programmed to perform necessary conversations, and apparently, they are hooked on to the internet which gives them the ability to do things according to your wishes and look up stuff for you on the internet.

Source: nakedsecurity

The cynical individuals usually suspect that their virtual assistants eavesdrop on them without any reason and this might be the same case when it comes to smart speakers. The companies have found a way to keep tabs on people along with their purchases and searches over the web. The microphones even listen to you when you’re not conversating with them. The smart speakers come to life with their “wake word”, and in a matter of seconds, they are at your service.

Amazon has claimed that an Alexa smart Speaker can be awakened with a word which rhymes with Alexa. This explanation isn’t sufficient enough to explain why sometimes your Alexa records a private conversation between family members and sends an email to contact without having said the wake word.

Source: theatlantic

Amazon, on the other hand, hasn’t disclosed the exact figures of Alexa that have been sold. One of their Spokesperson said “tens of millions” when she was asked about the same. According to Canalys, over 40 million smart speakers had been installed by the end of last year.

Source: adageindia

National Public Radio and Edison Research released a report in 2018 which stated that around 8 million Americans now own three or more smart speakers as they feel that they ought to have one within earshot. According to Ovum, by 2021, there will be as voice-activated assistants as the total population of the world. It took 30 years for the mobile phone to come into the mainstream, but Alexa and her ilk might do it in less than half the time.

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Written by Kashish Verma

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