Articles about alexa

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
Alexa and Cortana, together at last

Tech soap-opera latest: Alexa marries Cortana, will share custody of customers

Analysis To encourage people to demand more of their software-based assistants, Amazon and Microsoft plan to link their respective voice-based helpers – Alexa and Cortana – so they can talk to one another. The tie-up, to be consummated later this year, will allow Alexa users to book meetings and read email messages, among other things …
Thomas Claburn, 30 Aug 2017
Alexa photo via Shutterstock

Is it possible to control Amazon Alexa, Google Now using inaudible commands? Absolutely

Eavesdropping appliances like Amazon Echo and software assistants like Google Now can be attacked using mangled words that get interpreted as commands, but humans hear as nonsense. As explained in a 2015 paper [PDF], the phrase "Cocaine Noodles," for example, can be heard by Google Now as its command invocation, "OK, Google …
Thomas Claburn, 25 Aug 2017

Apple pulls massive HomeKit chip U-turn to keep up with Amazon Echo and Google Home

Analysis Apple has made a huge reversal in its HomeKit smart-home technology, in an effort to keep up with Amazon and Google. The iPhone giant has insisted for years that any third parties wishing to create HomeKit-compatible products have to include a special Apple-specified MFi coprocessor (such as this one) in order to authenticate …

Boffins throw Amazon Alexa on the rack to extract hidden clues

Last year, police in Bentonville, Arkansas, investigating the death of Victor Collins, demanded that Amazon turn over audio recordings that may have been made by an Amazon Echo device in his home. Amazon initially resisted the warrant, but in March, James Bates, charged with Collins' murder, consented [PDF] to the release of …
Thomas Claburn, 28 Jul 2017

Alexa, why aren't you working? No – I didn't say twerking. I, oh God...

Hands-on No wonder Silicon Valley is excited about the Amazon Echo. Let's be honest. These voice-controlled assistants have been the only hit the Valley's had in years: the only successful new consumer electronics category. 3D telly, smartwatches, they all came and went, but always-on assistants are a smash. Well, Amazon’s Alexa has …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Jul 2017
Alexa photo via Shutterstock

Amazon mumbles into its coffee when asked: Will you give app devs people's Alexa chats?

Amazon is apparently considering a plan to provide app developers with transcripts of people's conversations with their Alexa boxes. We're told the Bezos Bunch is mulling whether to change their developer policy to give the third-party coders who create Alexa "skills" app software the raw transcripts of what users say to Alexa …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jul 2017
Woman smiling on phone/. photo by shutterstock

Amazon's Alexa is worst receptionist ever: Crazy exes, stalkers' calls put through automatically

Amazon's voice-controlled assistant Alexa and its Echo devices now sport the ability to take your phone calls – so long as you don't ever plan on ignoring calls from anyone. The Alexa Calling feature, announced by Amazon earlier this week, allows Amazon Echo devices and the Alexa app to place and accept phone calls to and from …
Shaun Nichols, 12 May 2017

Try not to scream: Ads are coming to Amazon's Alexa – and VR goggles

It's time to let Benjamin Franklin know that there is a third inevitability in life. To death and taxes, we must add advertisements. Despite a backlash against Google in March for adding a movie ad to its Google Home voice-assistant [surely you mean "invite to our partner to be our guest and share its tale"? – ed.], and …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 May 2017

Amazon announces new Echo just as Microsoft's first Cortana-powered clone breaks cover

Amazon has announced the first Echo to feature a built-in display – one of 2017's stranger gadgets – just as Microsoft's Echo clone broke cover. The Harmon Kardon Invoke is a voice-enabled 360 speaker powered by Microsoft's Cortana. The news spoiled the announcement of Amazon's new Echo Show, which loosely resembles an iPad …

Another AI assistant... It's getting crowded in here, isn't it, Siri?

Analysis Voice-activated speakers and digital assistants may just seem like the modern, more annoying version of the old Microsoft paperclip, continually offering help and reminders where they are not needed. But while Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, Google Home/Now and Amazon Echo/Alexa may have a long way to go, we will look back on …

Amazon: 'Alexa, how do you fix shoddy APIs that keep breaking apps? Asking, er, for a friend'

Updated Developers trying to integrate their applications with the Amazon Echo have suffered headache after headache for the past week, thanks to mystery problems with Alexa APIs. For several days now, third-party apps have been unable to use Amazon's Skills Kit as expected, and thus are unable to receive voice commands via Alexa …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Apr 2017

Amazon touts Echo voice-recog tech to world's gizmo makers

In an effort to cement its position in the voice recognition market, Amazon has opened up its Alexa technology to third parties. The e-retailer is offering its seven-microphone array and voice processing tech to hardware makers who want to include voice activation in their products, but don't want to spend the enormous time …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Apr 2017
Alexa photo via Shutterstock

Alexa: How do I get free AWS? Simples: Build more of ME!

Amazon is throwing free cloud credits at developers building apps for Alexa hosted on AWS. The cloud giant will give aspiring AI devs $200 worth of credit in an apparent response to the fact devs were hitting its existing free service too hard. The AWS Free Tier had dished out one million AWS Lambda requests and up to 750 …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Mar 2017
Echo

Amazon relinquishes data from Echo that could have dropped eaves on a killing

We'll have to wait a little longer for a test case on the use of data collected by Amazon's eavesdropper Echo in criminal investigations. Authorities in Arkansas served a search warrant on Amazon to obtain the data from an Amazon Echo device in a murder that took place in the state in November 2015. Police believe the murder …

Voila! Bazinga! Amazon turns Alexa into an annoying 'cool' aunt

Say what you like about Amazon, it has never been cool. So it was only a matter of time before it managed to take the one cool thing it has done – the voice-activated Amazon Echo digital assistant Alexa – and make it embarrassing. Well, that time has arrived with the introduction of the Speech Synthesis Markup Language, or …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Feb 2017

Talking to Tintri's Alexa speechbot might not actually be all that crazy

Interview Tintri's Alexa speechbot is no piece of eye-candy gimmickry. CTO and founder Dr Kieran Harty says it will enable users to do more with less hassle as system management gets automated. We quizzed Harty on the how-and-why of its development. What is the overall background case for implementing an Alexa interface for Tintri array …
Chris Mellor, 10 Feb 2017
Small robots photo via Shutterstock

GitHubbers invited to hack Davis, the microservices chat bot

Dynatrace has launched a virtual digital assistant named Davis which you can talk to using Amazon's Alexa or via text on Slack through a proprietary engine - and has invited devs to take a pop at it. The idea is you quiz Davis on the status of your systems, as opposed to logging in and typing. Behind Davis lies a Node.js …
Gavin Clarke, 7 Feb 2017

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