Voice Assistants Dying, Alexa $10 Billion Loss Expected in 2022

socK

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Well, that's BS. I had a BT headset in like 2006 that would let you set the activation word to be anything. Admittedly, it only had about a 40% success rate at recognizing the word.

It wouldn't surprise me if it's an ML model that they trained on a billion pronunciations of the limited set of names or some shit coupled with them being phonetically distinct enough that there's even less room for false positives or negatives.
 
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It's almost 2023 and people don't want machines that are voice only. They want robots that will do house work that isn't just for the floors.
 
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RanceJustice

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I know that LOTS of people have asked to be able to pick the wake word but Amazon has said nothing. I assume with tens of millions of the devices out there having millions of wake words would cripple the system.
It may not even be a technical objection really, its BRANDING. There are fixes to the technical issue, but Bezos probably wants people to associate "Alexa" with being THE Amazon voice assistant and when they hear Alexa, to think Amazon. Thats why it allows other things that are like "Echo" (ie the name of the Amazon(tm) product through which you contact Alexa) allowed and a handful of others they define as okay.
 

deaedius

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The only smart feature I really liked was asking Alexa to turn on or off the lights. As soon as it became a bit more complex, she became ultra-stupid such as adjusting the temperature for the thermostat. I could never figure that out without being hyper frustrated, so lights it was. At that point I just stopped using Alexa for anything I thought I would use her for.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Funny side note:

My better half just bought a Volkswagen Tiguan.

First time I sat in it, I jokingly said (with a think, and fake German accent) "Jaaaa, hallooo Volkswagen?"

The damn thing responded ready to take commands.

We didn't even know it had voice command features.
 

rinaldo00

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The only smart feature I really liked was asking Alexa to turn on or off the lights. As soon as it became a bit more complex, she became ultra-stupid such as adjusting the temperature for the thermostat. I could never figure that out without being hyper frustrated, so lights it was. At that point I just stopped using Alexa for anything I thought I would use her for.
"Alexa set AC to 75"
 

Zarathustra[H]

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The only smart feature I really liked was asking Alexa to turn on or off the lights. As soon as it became a bit more complex, she became ultra-stupid such as adjusting the temperature for the thermostat. I could never figure that out without being hyper frustrated, so lights it was. At that point I just stopped using Alexa for anything I thought I would use her for.
"Alexa set temperature to 75"

I'd much rather get up and flip the light switch and adjust the thermostat.

Besides, the thermostat is on a program anyway.

Heat to 67 degrees when everyone is up and about. Allow to cool to 58 degrees at night when everyone is in bed or no one is at home. Once I programmed my schedule, I barely ever have to touch it. Usually only on holidays when our schedules are different.

Why I'd ever want to talk to my thermostat, my light switch or order products by voice is beyond me.

Voice assistants have always been a solution in search of a problem. They really aren't any more convenient than using a switch, and when ordering products online details really matter, so I have to see product details/specifications anyway, something that doesn't lend itself to voice commands very well.

It's really just an excuse to have even more of a surveillance society than we already had. Anyone who invites these systems into their homes, their cars or their phones willingly is a freaking moron.
 

staknhalo

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Couldn't disagree more. I love my smart home crap, but also it's part of why I was doing HTPCs even years back and was the same exact thing to me then - it's TV, but cooler. Now it's everything else in the house from lighting to your grocery lists to thermostats and DIY security systems - but cooler.

I can voice command a robot to go mop, vacuum or vacuum and then upon completion mop either an individual room or the entire place for me - c'mon that's cool.
 
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Zarathustra[H]

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Couldn't disagree more. I love my smart home crap, but also it's part of why I was doing HTPCs even years back and was the same exact thing to me then - it's TV, but cooler. Now it's everything else in the house from lighting to your grocery lists to thermostats and DIY security systems - but cooler.

I can voice command a robot to go mop, vacuum or vacuum and then upon completion mop either an individual room or the entire place for me - c'mon that's cool.

Cool, yes, but the novelty will wear off eventually, and then you have to focus on "do these systems actually make my life easier?", and I'd propose that they do not.

The robot vacuums and mops don't clean as well as a human can, and they fail for stupid reasons (getting stuck on something, or jamming, or something like that) more often than people would like to admit. I feel like in most cases I'd just sigh, and mop the damn floor myself instead. It's less of a hassle.

That, and the ever pervasive privacy concerns.

This is why there will never be any "smart" products of any kind in my house.

I'd have to be able to completely firewall them off from my WAN and still have them work as intended, in order for me to take that leap.

If I don't personally completely control every aspect of it, including who it talks to, when and why, then I don't want it.

The only way to properly do anyhting IT/Networking is with zero trust. Assume whatever you are setting up will try to absue any privilege you give it, and design your network such that it can't, even if it never does. Zero trust.
 

sharknice

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I'd much rather get up and flip the light switch and adjust the thermostat.

Besides, the thermostat is on a program anyway.

Heat to 67 degrees when everyone is up and about. Allow to cool to 58 degrees at night when everyone is in bed or no one is at home. Once I programmed my schedule, I barely ever have to touch it. Usually only on holidays when our schedules are different.

Why I'd ever want to talk to my thermostat, my light switch or order products by voice is beyond me.

Voice assistants have always been a solution in search of a problem. They really aren't any more convenient than using a switch, and when ordering products online details really matter, so I have to see product details/specifications anyway, something that doesn't lend itself to voice commands very well.

It's really just an excuse to have even more of a surveillance society than we already had. Anyone who invites these systems into their homes, their cars or their phones willingly is a freaking moron.
You sound like one of those people that refused to get a smartphone.

I don't want a standalone voice assistant or cameras always listening and watching me in my home, but it's going to be the norm because the convenience it will offer will eventually outweigh the privacy concerns for most people, it already has for many.

I have cameras outside my home and I use voice assistants, but only when I push a button for them to listen.
I could see the usefulness of having a voice assistant always listening if it was actually good. And cameras would add context for future smarter AI assistants. It's going to be the norm eventually. And if you don't have it you'll be living in the stone age compared to everyone else.
 

staknhalo

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I dunno man I've been doing this for over a couple of years novelty hasn't worn off yet. I also don't buy something unless I know I can get use out of it.

A smart thermostat for example can not kick the air on when it senses no one is home, and also not let it get above a certain temp, but then also detect when the person is on their way home via smartphone location and have the air back at their desired temp by the time that person opens the door - like say either when running errands during the day or away and coming back from vacation.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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You sound like one of those people that refused to get a smartphone.

I don't want a standalone voice assistant or cameras always listening and watching me in my home, but it's going to be the norm because the convenience it will offer will eventually outweigh the privacy concerns for most people, it already has for many.

I have cameras outside my home and I use voice assistants, but only when I push a button for them to listen.
I could see the usefulness of having a voice assistant always listening if it was actually good. And cameras would add context for future smarter AI assistants. It's going to be the norm eventually. And if you don't have it you'll be living in the stone age compared to everyone else.

Well, I never cared to be part of the lowest common denominator masses anyway :p

I drove a car with a manual transmission up until the bitter end when I couldn't find one I wanted with a manual anymore, and I still prefer tactile physical buttons in my car over touch screens.

Voice commands are just dumb to me. Firstly, your room (or car) has to be quiet for them to work well, which if you have a family you know is almost never the case. Secondly, the lack of visual feedback/confirmation will always be a problem.

I still say it is a solution searching for a problem. It doesn't really add any convenience, just more uncertainty and less reliability, and it pisses me off to no end that the lowest common denominator masses are buying these things to the point where I can't find products without them anymore.

I want a great , high end TV with the best possible picture quality, but NO smart features.

I want a great high end car with the best possible performance, comfort and mileage, but I don't want any self driving features, voice commands, or have to use a touch screen to interact with the main features of the car (stereo is OK, but that's about it)

The fact that this undesirable useless bullshit with HUGE privacy concerns is being forced on me makes me regularly fantasize about going on a stabbing spree and just getting rid of the numbskulls who are forcing this useless shit on me. (I'm not going to actually do it, no need to call the FBI, but fantasy can be catharsis)

If we could only completely ban the collection and use of personal data for any purpose, then I wouldn't mind the tech existing, but there would have to be a requirement that it is as an alternative only, and that traditional means of physical button interaction must remain. In other words, it must be able to be completely and verifiable disabled without the loss of any features of the tech. If they can do this, then I'm a happy camper. I can go on with my life and just ignore it exists, and let the lowest common denominator morons go on with their bullshit.

But that's unfortunately not the way it works. This useless shit is being forced on me, and it makes me very very angry. Fuming with rage, even.
 
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You sound like one of those people that refused to get a smartphone.
Myself I've had a smartphone for well over a decade, and my next phone will not be one. I'm done being a drone.


detect when the person is on their way home via smartphone location and have the air back at their desired temp by the time that person opens the door - like say either when running errands during the day or away and coming back from vacation.
24/7 tracking and surveillance - all for the benefit of... not having to turn a knob on a thermostat.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I dunno man I've been doing this for over a couple of years novelty hasn't worn off yet. I also don't buy something unless I know I can get use out of it.

A smart thermostat for example can not kick the air on when it senses no one is home, and also not let it get above a certain temp, but then also detect when the person is on their way home via smartphone location and have the air back at their desired temp by the time that person opens the door - like say either when running errands during the day or away and coming back from vacation.

I'm not denying that some smart features can be pretty convenient. The smart thermostats are probably up there at the top.

But without guarantees that these things don't get misused, they can go pound sand.

I want:

1.) A Requirement that every decide sold that utilizes off premises servers, be able to do all of its functions in a local only mode that does not communicate with anyone "cloud", and that this can be configured by the end user, which mode they prefer.

and/or #2 and #3 below.

2.) An FDA style pre-market approval for every device that is network connected to make sure that it is not collecting any more data than is strictly nece3ssary for it to function, and that the data that IS collected is not used in any way, and is stored in a way such that maximizes security against loss both to internal people and external criminals.

3.) FDA style follow-on annual audits to make sure than #2 above is still true for as long as the device is on the market, with severe and draconian penalties for the company if they are not.

If we can get these three, everything will be hunky dory.

No more IOT/Cloud/data wild west. Personal data can no longer be traded for convenience or "free" products, and a tough regulatory environment which ensures this is followed and issues harsh penalties if it is not.

This is what is needed.
 

rinaldo00

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I'd much rather get up and flip the light switch and adjust the thermostat.

Besides, the thermostat is on a program anyway.

Heat to 67 degrees when everyone is up and about. Allow to cool to 58 degrees at night when everyone is in bed or no one is at home. Once I programmed my schedule, I barely ever have to touch it. Usually only on holidays when our schedules are different.

Why I'd ever want to talk to my thermostat, my light switch or order products by voice is beyond me.

Voice assistants have always been a solution in search of a problem. They really aren't any more convenient than using a switch, and when ordering products online details really matter, so I have to see product details/specifications anyway, something that doesn't lend itself to voice commands very well.

It's really just an excuse to have even more of a surveillance society than we already had. Anyone who invites these systems into their homes, their cars or their phones willingly is a freaking moron.
Do you really cannot understand why someone would want to talk to their thermostat? Did you read my earlier post?

rinaldo00

Just a reminder to the people dancing on the graves of voice assistants. My friend was hit by a drunk driver in a car while riding his bike and is paralyzed from the neck down. He uses Alexa to control his entire apartment. That device was a godsend for him.
Not everything is designed for you.
 

staknhalo

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Do you guys think you're not tracked and surveilled 24/7 even without all your smart home stuff?

Big data knows you.
 

staknhalo

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So you don't think you're tracked via public records/payment methods/locations of payment/cell tower pings/etc all because you're too good for smart home stuff?
 

rinaldo00

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OK, It seems that no one posting has a friend, seen on the news, or can imagine a person with disabilities needing devices like this. Be sure to post "idiots sold their soul because they are too lazy to walk and do things by hand" for the umpteenth time.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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OK, It seems that no one posting has a friend, seen on the news, or can imagine a person with disabilities needing devices like this. Be sure to post "idiots sold their soul because they are too lazy to walk and do things by hand" for the umpteenth time.

I have no problem with assistive technologies. They have always existed, and there will always be a need, so they will always exist.

That doesn't mean they need to take over the world for everyone else.
 

rinaldo00

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I have no problem with assistive technologies. They have always existed, and there will always be a need, so they will always exist.

That doesn't mean they need to take over the world for everyone else.
Great.
I came here to post this.

I absolutely do not want to talk to any of my tech, on my computer, on my phone, in my car or anywhere else.

The sooner this stupid AI nonsense dies off the better.
Not great.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Great.

Not great.

It's very different for something to be ubiquitous in the marketplace for everyone, compared to there being specialty assistive technologies that those who are affected need to buy.

In its current form, yes, nothing would please me more than if it all burned to the ground.

If there then were to exist some specialty devices for the outrageously tiny minority of people who actually need them, that is great too.

We can't let the needs of the 0.01% turn life for everyone else into George Orwell's 1984.

And while I hope that those who need them can always get specialty assistive technologies, with my apologies to those who rely on this shit for their disabilities, I'd pull the plug without even thinking twice about this one.

All people live in a dystopian future, vs. a tiny minority of people lose their ability to use the dystopian future as assistive tech is a tradeoff that is going to land on the eliminating the dystopian future 1,000,000 out of 1,000,000 times.

Hopefully some FDA approved company will develop a specialty assistive deice that helps them down the road, but the immediate priority is to kill the dystopian future at any cost.

And I mean ANY cost. I'd kill the entire economy, leaving all of silicon valley and anything and everything that relies on ad revenue in ruins in a heartbeat, if it meant we could end the dystopian future.

It's war, and it is time to rise up and kill big brother, at any cost. Absolutely nothing can be seen as too big of a price to bear.
 
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rinaldo00

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It's very different for something to be ubiquitous in the marketplace for everyone, compared to there being specialty assistive technologies that those who are affected need to buy.

In its current form, yes, nothing would please me more than if it all burned to the ground.

If there then were to exist some specialty devices for the outrageously tiny minority of people who actually need them, that is great too.

We can't let the needs of the 0.01% turn life for everyone else into George Orwell's 1984.

And while I hope that those who need them can always get specialty assistive technologies, with my apologies to those who rely on this shit for their disabilities, I'd pull the plug without even thinking twice about this one.

All people live in a dystopian future, vs. a tiny minority of people lose their ability to use the dystopian future as assistive tech is a tradeoff that is going to land on the eliminating the dystopian future 1,000,000 out of 1,000,000 times.

Hopefully some FDA approved company will develop a specialty assistive deice that helps them down the road, but the immediate priority is to kill the dystopian future at any cost.
Great in theory but life doesn't always work that way. If it were made for the outrageously tiny minority of people who actually need them, it would cost thousands of dollars. His power wheelchair costs over $10,000. Thanks to Amazon he can buy freedom for under 50 bucks.
 

staknhalo

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Plus, your data is already out there.

You protect nothing.

You 'kill Google' or whatever, cool. Your data is still out there. Companies still buying and selling it from each other. Mission accomplished 👍
 

vegeta535

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You sound like one of those people that refused to get a smartphone.

I don't want a standalone voice assistant or cameras always listening and watching me in my home, but it's going to be the norm because the convenience it will offer will eventually outweigh the privacy concerns for most people, it already has for many.

I have cameras outside my home and I use voice assistants, but only when I push a button for them to listen.
I could see the usefulness of having a voice assistant always listening if it was actually good. And cameras would add context for future smarter AI assistants. It's going to be the norm eventually. And if you don't have it you'll be living in the stone age compared to everyone else.
That is the problem and people shouldn't be giving up their privacy so easily. Wait til police show up at your door step cause Alexa determined that domestic abuse is happening or SS coming to arrest you cause you say I am going to kill Joe Biden in a fit of rage. Then you car automatically tickets you for speed or rolling through a stop sign. This crap is coming and people are willing going to accept it.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Plus, your data is already out there.

You protect nothing.

You 'kill Google' or whatever, cool. Your data is still out there. Companies still buying and selling it from each other. Mission accomplished 👍


Same old fallacy repeated time and time again. Just because something is bad anyway, doesn't mean we cant fight to reduce the evil it does.

There is no inevitability in this. It can easily be defeated if people just care about it.

And that's the greatest evil of the likes of Google, Facebook, Amazon and friends. By making it inevitable, keeping the extent secret, and just being persistent they wore everyone down. I'll be damned if I let them succeed.

The best we can do as a society if we care about anything at all is to regulate the whole lot of them out of existence. Make them wipe their databases or fine them billions a day until they cease to exist and we wipe them for them.

This has gone beyond the kid glove level. Drastic measures are now called for.
 

Phazer Tech

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Plus, your data is already out there.

You protect nothing.

You 'kill Google' or whatever, cool. Your data is still out there. Companies still buying and selling it from each other. Mission accomplished 👍
This is ridiculous. Just because some data is out there doesn't mean we can't prevent them from getting more and more data. They are constantly data mining in hopes that you continue to feed them new data.
 
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