Articles about alexa

Huawei AI Cube

Huawei's Alexa-powered AI Cube wants to squat in your living room too

IFA Alexa is built into so many appliances being demonstrated at IFA this week, you need a map* to them all. Basically it's everywhere, and on a global scale appears to be decisively winning the platform battle with Google. So it's no surprise that Huawei's first attempt at cracking the European consumer electronics business …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 Aug 2018
Cortana photo via Shutterstock

You: 'Alexa, open Cortana.' Alexa: 'Who?'

Updated It has taken the best part of a year, but from today Microsoft fans can talk to Cortana through the vaguely creepy ears of Amazon’s Echo devices and vice versa. pixelbook Windows is coming to Chromebooks… with Google’s blessing READ MORE Originally announced last August, with a tentative delivery date towards the end of last …
Richard Speed, 15 Aug 2018
Person hides face in shocked anticipation of something horrible. Photo via shutterstock

You know that silly fear about Alexa recording everything and leaking it online? It just happened

Updated It's time to break out your "Alexa, I Told You So" banners – because a Portland, Oregon, couple received a phone call from one of the husband's employees earlier this month, telling them she had just received a recording of them talking privately in their home. "Unplug your Alexa devices right now," the staffer told the couple …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 May 2018
man contemplating /meditating in silhouette against sunset

Church of England will commune with God for you via Amazon's Echo

Technology worship has ascended to a higher spiritual plane with the Church of England now offering the faithful daily voice-activated prayers from Amazon's smart home kit, Echo. Using the new Alexa "skill", believers can ask the CoE for prayers, explanations of the Christian faith and location-based information about local …
Kat Hall, 24 May 2018
Alexa photo via Shutterstock

'Alexa, find me a good patent lawyer' – Amazon sued for allegedly lifting tech of home assistant

Amazon is the target of a patent complaint from a US university that claims the Alexa assistant ripped off its technology for processing voice commands. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute wants a jury trial in the Northern District of New York to determine damages against Amazon for what the Big Apple tech school alleges is …
Shaun Nichols, 11 May 2018
spy

'Alexa, listen in on my every word and send it all to a shady developer'

Amazon has shored up a security weakness in its technology to stop apps for Alexa-powered Echo personal assistants from secretly eavesdropping on folks. Alexa skills – software add-ons for the chatty voice-controlled assistant – could, once installed, have abused an Amazon-provided software development kit to continually …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Apr 2018
Smart TV privacy issues

2001 set the standard for the next 50 years of hard (and some soft) sci-fi

Finally, after almost half a century of waiting, you can welcome the mildly homicidal artificial intelligence HAL 9000 into your home. If you want. Few of the other predictions of tomorrow's world made in Stanley Kubrick's psychedelic space epic 2001: A Space Odyssey – marking its 50th anniversary at the start of April – have …
Michael Moran, 4 Apr 2018

Hey Alexa, Siri and Cortana: Cisco says you’re bad at business

VID Cisco will shortly give the world a voice assistant it believes has a shot at making life uncomfortable for Siri, Cortana and Alexa in the office. The company’s effort won’t be a general-purpose bot. Instead the company plans to make it a part of its Spark collaboration portfolio and have it do things like place calls, find …
Pull the plug

Alexa muted, Twilio taps out, and Bitbucket kicks the, er, bucket amid AWS data center hiccup

Problems at an Amazon Web Service data center in Virginia today are being blamed for outages affecting some major websites and online services today. Amazon said its highly popular US-East region has been dropping packets all morning, US West Coast time, thanks to an unidentified connectivity problem with Direct Connect. That' …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Mar 2018
Siri logo

Voice assistants are always listening. So why won't they call police if they hear a crime?

If you saw someone being assaulted, you'd probably whip out your phone and dial for help. But when one of our newly ubiquitous devices hears a crime, it does nothing. If Alexa or Google Assistant or Siri hears an assault, or a rape, they sit there waiting for their cues to act. But that's a load of malarkey. Listening for a …
Mark Pesce, 26 Feb 2018
Robot maid

Talk down to Siri like it's a mere servant – your safety demands it

In the middle of the night, the 83-year-old woman received a call. A caller identifying himself as a policeman angrily reported that her grandson – identified by name – had landed in jail. He'd hit a policeman while driving and TXTing. The policeman said they needed $4,000 in bail – immediately. The old woman hung up, but the …
Mark Pesce, 12 Feb 2018
Alexa photo via Shutterstock

When you play this song backwards, you can hear Satan. Play it forwards, and it hijacks Siri, Alexa

Computer science boffins affiliated with IBM and universities in China and the United States have devised a way to issue covert commands to voice-based AI software – like Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana – by encoding them in popular songs. They refer to these tweaked tunes, which issue mostly …
Thomas Claburn, 30 Jan 2018

Cortana. Whatever happened to world domination?

Analysis Somewhat harshly, Microsoft's Cortana was pronounced dead this week. Torn between wholesaling and retailing Cortana, Microsoft ended up doing a bit of both, and failed badly. It's also torn between what the brand actually means – an Alexa voice assistant, or an IBM Watson-like brand for analytics, covering a multitude of …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Jan 2018
youtube_648

Tech giants at war: Google pulls plug on YouTube in Amazon kit

Google is trying to stop Amazon Echo Show devices from streaming YouTube videos – and from January, it will block Amazon’s Fire TVs from accessing the vid service, too. It appears the ad giant is killing off access to the YouTube app on Amazon's gadgets. From today, opening the YouTube application on an Echo Show or Fire TV …
Shaun Nichols, 5 Dec 2017
Alexa photo via Shutterstock

Audio spy Alexa now has a little pal called Dox

Updated Amazon's audio surveillance personal assistant device, Alexa, has acquired an external battery pack called Dox. The appropriately named portable energy store, made by lifestyle gadgetry firm Ninety7, does not (thankfully) do what its name says. Instead, says its maker, it offers "up to 10 hours" of extra life for Alexa. The …
Gareth Corfield, 13 Nov 2017

Alexa, please cause the cops to raid my home

We all assume that intelligent devices will either serve our every need, or try to kill us, but what if they just want to party? Well, it could work out pretty expensive as Oliver Haberstroh found out when his Amazon Alexa started its own early-hours party – waking up, and blasting music automatically, while its owner was out …
Amazon Echo Spot

Out, damned Spot! Amazon emits Echo ball with screen, inevitable ever-listening mic

Amazon expanded its line of Echo cloud commerce intercoms on Wednesday with the introduction of Echo Spot, a spherical hodgepodge of screen, mics and speaker for communing with the company's Alexa software and demanding doorstep deliveries. With living rooms already served and surveilled by elder Echo devices, Echo Spot …
Thomas Claburn, 28 Sep 2017

Alexa and her kind let the disabled or illiterate make the web work

The pell-mell rush to get everything connected and intelligent has led us into some dark corners. Robot vacuum cleaners that map your home - in order to faithfully fulfil your wishes for a clean residence - then sell your data to the highest bidder. Dolls that listen to a child, and share a bit too widely. That sort of thing. …
Mark Pesce, 26 Sep 2017

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