Voice recognition technology has the answers to some of the simplest questions…
You wake up in the morning wondering what to wear today, so the first thing that comes to mind is to check your phone or turn on the TV. These are the typical means of acquiring weather related news, but today is a special day… You suddenly realize that your new gadget is capable of substituting these functions and all you have to do is ask “Alexa!” or “Okay Google”…
Welcome to the future! Amazon Echo and Google Home are certainly useful tech gadgets because they can interpret human voice with just about any type of command. This can be used to acquire information about simple things like; What time is it? What is the temperature outside? or What is 2+2?
How secure are these devices?
The question we should rather ask is; what kind of technology does it use in order to recognize our voices? We do know that it uses special ambient microphones in order to work from afar, but as far as we know, our voice input data may be recorded as well; either locally, or to some kind of a server (cloud).
Do people actually thinkabout privacy before buying such gadgets?
Just because a mass amount of social media is pushing ads about such products does not mean they are something we should buy. None of the ads or reviews mention privacy concerns using Amazon Echo or Google Home.*
At which point is convenience a potential security risk?
Sure, it is very convenient to ask Alexa about weather; but Alexa just might be paying attention to more than just questions…We have no idea what happens with voice data input and it would not surprise me that in the future along with answers we seek, a targeted ads might start to play based on our personal interest in information.*
Do we know who is listening?
Aside from technical aspects in voice recognition hardware, we do know one thing; Amazon Echo and Google Home must be connected to the internet at all times, in order to function properly…*
Keep in mind that these gadgets are hardly any different from our current technology that we possess in our pockets. You can take any smart phone and it will have same or similar technology that helps you retrieve information conveniently, by using voice commands.
Everywhere you go there are cameras and microphones that can record any conversation that we have with each other. We simply do not know what kind of information can be incriminating to ourselves because as far we know, friends or co-workers may be recording all conversations.
Please consider above facts before buying any gadgets with built in surveillance, and whether this is one of those things that you can feel comfortable with. Voice recognition hardware inside your home, constantly recording everything you do or say…*
Advances in voice recognition software and AI that deals with voice recognition have been advancing drastically especially in the past few years, however my main concern is privacy, so let us try to keep our personal information personal, rather than available to everyone else to access.*
Some people may not feel comfortable with having such a device at home, although the idea of convenience is very genuine and very exciting. Makes it certainly understandable to why someone would purchase such gadgets.
Admittedly, my concerns may be amplified by the common sense of things; which certainly does not mean that any of mentioned products are bad.
What is your opinion?