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

deepinya

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Alexa barely understands anything I ask unless its "turn on lights". I asked for Beastie Boys songs the other day and it kept showing me movies with the word beast in it.
 

socK

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Uhhh, I just use mine as a glorified voice activated alarm clock/timer.

Which is actually not that good because I always tell it "HEY GOOGLE SNOOZE FOR 5 MORE MINUTES FUCK" 7 times over because I don't need to move a muscle
 

ChadD

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I am not gravedancing since I use Google and Siri all the time. Control use is great. Trying to make me buy stuff is not.
That is/was the biggest issue with Amazons crap. My kids will get it to play some nursery song... next thing I hear in the next room, is Alexa talking about ordering toys.
Use something like Spotify... get to hear about how great Amazon music is.
Use Amazon music that is supposed to be included with prime... have her try and activate your free month of "unlimited" and its only 10 bucks a month later.

In order to make her usable you have to start by turning off half the features so she isn't auto ordering you chinese made crap, or activating subscriptions. Even after you do all that she is still an insufferably annoying sales person... and I imagine she is Bozoses avatar who is pissed off I'm not spending money every time he enters my home. lol
 

rinaldo00

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That was mentioned in the article:

It's not like Alexa plays ad breaks after you use it, so the hope was that people would buy things on Amazon via their voice.

As helpful as Alexa can be for people with disabilities the constant pushing to spend money on ANYTHING is brutal. This next month will be excruciating.
 

sphinx99

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This is where I prefer the Siri model… it’s not the product, it’s an optional tidbit within the ecosystem. I buy the hardware because it looks/works/sounds amazing, and when Siri goes low-IQ-idiot, I honestly don’t care so much because it’s something I can skip using.

Alexa was the product, and ultimately that made it the 21st century of the Clapper.
 

ElementDave

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I feel sorry for anyone named Alexa. That must be incredibly annoying.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/interactive/2021/people-named-alexa-name-change-amazon/

Also, "Alex" isn't exactly a rare name. Even if the device activation word can be reprogrammed by its owner, that wouldn't help in the case of visitors sharing the name. I'm mildly curious how much confusion has resulted from name collisions and related errors. I don't have any of these devices myself, nor do I want one.
 

HeadRusch

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Couple of things.....I've only ever bought my Amazon devices off WOOT refurbished on the cheap. And I only have 1 echo device, its in my kitchen where it's welcome to eavesdrop on all the conversation it wants to, I really don't care...I don't discuss private matters in the kitchen cuz I know that HAL 100 is there, its a simple discipline to learn.

But people...there's a whooooooooooooooooole lot of absurdity in this thread from folks who are planting the Flag of Privacy (LOL) in 2022 by saying "I'll NEVER have a listening device in MY home!". AHEM.....

You gladly search the internet and buy shit off credit cards, phones are always trackable and most/all rely on biometrics of one sort or another in order to unlock/use them and...and...and..... it's like...come ON people, that ship sailed in 2012! :)
I get it, this is more obvious/agreggious...aggregi...that word.....but that's why I have one, its in the kitchen, where the hands-free nature of it does some actual good....I do not have these fuckers spread all over my living quarters.

I have some of those neet (because they are cheap) Blink battery powered cameras......they let me know when I get mail or a package dropped off, they let me know when there's a fox in my back yard, told the kids one time to take in the garbage
cans by talking through the speaker in the camera, unnecessary but "nice to have" stuff like this.......

I have no smart switches in my home for lights but I do use an ancient X10 system for that, so I have no need....but that is helpful if you are a person who prefers ambient lamp-lighting as opposed to flipping a switch to turn on a series of ceiling lamps.

The smart camI have up in my ATTIC that tells me when another mouse has met his or her demise is super helpful, otherwise the only way of knowing about it will be the sweet smell of victory, also known as decomposition.

So these devices, used properly, have a place. But when you are talking about like having them in active ROOMS....its a completely different story. Use them correctly, you have no issues. But used incorrectly, yes I absolutely see where stupid things happen....
but is it the device, or the person using it? Do guns kill people, or do killers kill people with guns?

1669390272975.png
 

Aurelius

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I'm starting to appreciate HomePods more, and that's saying something given how behind Apple has been in the voice assistant game.

Siri is less capable than Alexa or Google Assistant, there's no question about that. But it also isn't trying to pitch you on Black Friday deals or rope you into a whole ecosystem of first-party smart home products (ironic given Apple's preference for self-contained systems). Get a HomePod mini and it won't answer existential questions, but it will handle the essentials well and sound good doing it.

I'm actually hoping those rumors of a revived 'regular' HomePod are true, although I also hope Apple won't make the mistake of selling it for $350. A $200 to $250 model would be much easier to rationalize for folks who would otherwise buy a Sonos One and be done with it.
 

rinaldo00

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MrGuvernment

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I'm really surprised that Amazon has not found a way to integrate various functions of Alexa into AWS. Open up the API, and allow your customers to integrate it into their products for a small fee. Seriously... that's how you make money, dofuses.
because it would be a massive security hole considering customer can not even secure a simple S3 bucket from public access.. Most people who work with AWS really have no business doing so because they have got no clue about basic 101 security and access controls and just like to click next next next publish!
 

ElementDave

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Yes it would. If you change the wake word to computer or echo saying Alexa or Alex will not trigger the device.
I wrote "that wouldn't help in the case of visitors sharing the name." The implication was that in most cases, owners would not change the "wake" word to account for individuals who didn't belong to their household.
 

1_rick

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I wrote "that wouldn't help in the case of visitors sharing the name." The implication was that in most cases, owners would be unlikely to change the "wake" word to account for individuals who didn't belong to their household.
If you're gonna change the name, you should change it to something like Khan or Cthulhu so that never becomes a problem. Geez.
 

rinaldo00

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If you're gonna change the name, you should change it to something like Khan or Cthulhu so that never becomes a problem. Geez.
That is another annoying thing, the only wake words you can use are Alexa, Echo, Computer, Amazon, and just recently added Ziggy.
 

rinaldo00

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I wrote "that wouldn't help in the case of visitors sharing the name." The implication was that in most cases, owners would not change the "wake" word to account for individuals who didn't belong to their household.
And so what ? BTW It takes seconds to change the wake word, you just say 'Alexa, change wake word to Echo' in case Uncle Alex drops by.
 

Domingo

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I find that voice-activated phone services rarely save me any time or effort unless I'm driving and need to do something hands-free. I certainly don't want anything making purchases on my behalf considering how off the rails that can end up. "Alexa, buy cat food!" usually ends up with Alexa trying to subscribe me for some kind of weekly repeated purchase from the priciest vendor on all of Amazon. With my Fire Cube/Stick it loves pulling up options that are paid vs. free, too. With most anything else, I usually have caveats to my searches that voice recognition just can't handle well enough.
 

Balkroth

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I have a few Alexa devices, but rarely use them, I just don't have a ton of things that integrate well with them. I don't use voice anything really, not even voice to text on phones.

My parents use theirs all the time and have a bunch of connected devices, basically use it to control their home , change channels, watch security feeds, etc and it works great for them.

SO i'd say it's uses are probably more dependent on the other smart devices and what not you use.
 

Bigbacon

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lol yup our google home is

"Hey google, play X on youtube music" or "Hey google, what is the weather today/tomorrow"
 

staknhalo

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Not Alexa - but I use Google Assistant to control lights/TV, add things to my shopping list and set alarms and reminders (I don't forget anything anymore lol), to check the weather and as a hands free calculator, play music when I'm in the shower, and to trigger my goodnight/wake up routines

The only time I get ads is when it screws up what I was saying and tells me about Youtube Music Premium or whatever

But the problem with Google Assistant is they're always fucking with the voice recognition model to justify their jobs or whatever (they said they're firing a bunch of the Google Assistant people too, so maybe this will stop somewhat) so it will work perfectly for 6 months, then go 6 months where you have to repeat yourself 6 times for the most basic shit it used to understand just fine, then back to 6 months of bliss, rinse and repeat
 

Wade88

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Not Alexa - but I use Google Assistant to control lights/TV, add things to my shopping list and set alarms and reminders (I don't forget anything anymore lol), to check the weather and as a hands free calculator, play music when I'm in the shower, and to trigger my goodnight/wake up routines

The only time I get ads is when it screws up what I was saying and tells me about Youtube Music Premium or whatever

But the problem with Google Assistant is they're always fucking with the voice recognition model to justify their jobs or whatever (they said they're firing a bunch of the Google Assistant people too, so maybe this will stop somewhat) so it will work perfectly for 6 months, then go 6 months where you have to repeat yourself 6 times for the most basic shit it used to understand just fine, then back to 6 months of bliss, rinse and repeat
i had wondered why it worked fine in my android auto trucks for ages and then for other ages it doesn't. That explains a lot and indeed hopefully it can remember how I say the measly 4 bog standard names I call when I'm driving.
 

rinaldo00

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Not Alexa - but I use Google Assistant to control lights/TV, add things to my shopping list and set alarms and reminders (I don't forget anything anymore lol), to check the weather and as a hands free calculator, play music when I'm in the shower, and to trigger my goodnight/wake up routines

The only time I get ads is when it screws up what I was saying and tells me about Youtube Music Premium or whatever

But the problem with Google Assistant is they're always fucking with the voice recognition model to justify their jobs or whatever (they said they're firing a bunch of the Google Assistant people too, so maybe this will stop somewhat) so it will work perfectly for 6 months, then go 6 months where you have to repeat yourself 6 times for the most basic shit it used to understand just fine, then back to 6 months of bliss, rinse and repeat
This happens with Alexa also. A few commands that I use on Youtube stopped working so I emailed tech support about it and I was told they are adding new modes to the recognition engine to include more apps. Few months later and things are back to the way they were. Very frustrating.
 

BravO)))

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I got an echo, only for them to charge me for Amazon music, then after some time, then wanted 2 dollars more a month for sleep sounds... A sound file probably no bigger than 5mb, and they want 2 dollars more a month, on top of prime and music. I haven't plugged my echo since.
 

cpufrost

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I feel sorry for anyone named Alexa. That must be incredibly annoying.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/interactive/2021/people-named-alexa-name-change-amazon/

Also, "Alex" isn't exactly a rare name. Even if the device activation word can be reprogrammed by its owner, that wouldn't help in the case of visitors sharing the name. I'm mildly curious how much confusion has resulted from name collisions and related errors. I don't have any of these devices myself, nor do I want one.
They should have the ability to make any keyword the user wants. The choices are Alexa and Echo. Seems like the older crowd uses the latter. ;-)

It would be nice too, if they had a foul mouthed, extremely crude, politically incorrect version like Jexi too! Because on days where frustration is through the roof, things might actually be helpful! ;-)
 

bigdogchris

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If you are not constnatly staying "Alexa, order me XYZ" you're not using it right in their mind. That's the ultimate goal. They don't make money off you buying something with perpetual use because eventually the market stagnates.
 

staknhalo

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I just want to be able to say "Yo Google" at least Amazon allows a bit more customization than Google there
 

staknhalo

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i had wondered why it worked fine in my android auto trucks for ages and then for other ages it doesn't. That explains a lot and indeed hopefully it can remember how I say the measly 4 bog standard names I call when I'm driving.

I used to love the Android Auto app on my Android phone when mounted in my car - when they killed that one of the things made me go "might as well go iPhone"
 

rinaldo00

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They should have the ability to make any keyword the user wants. The choices are Alexa and Echo. Seems like the older crowd uses the latter. ;-)

It would be nice too, if they had a foul mouthed, extremely crude, politically incorrect version like Jexi too! Because on days where frustration is through the roof, things might actually be helpful! ;-)
Just to be fair there are few more choices, the only wake words you can use are Alexa, Echo, Computer, Amazon, and just recently added, Ziggy.

Quote
 

RanceJustice

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They should have the ability to make any keyword the user wants. The choices are Alexa and Echo. Seems like the older crowd uses the latter. ;-)

It would be nice too, if they had a foul mouthed, extremely crude, politically incorrect version like Jexi too! Because on days where frustration is through the roof, things might actually be helpful! ;-)
Imagine during a dinner party suddenly jerk-mode "Lexi" yells "Hey AMAZON_ACCOUNT, according to my records you should have run out of the soap and deodorant I last shipped you three weeks ago? Do you want to start another Subscribe N Save (tm) order now or just continue to reek from your pits , ass, and genitals? Glad Amazon hasn't figured out how to give me a sense of smell yet. Anyway, let me know when you're done stuffing your face, god I can hear you eating like a cow".
 

ElementDave

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Exactly, it is a non-issue.
Is it though? That's what I was curious about. I'd bet more than a few comedic events have resulted from Alex* and similar sounding names of Greek origin.
The Washington Post went looking for a victim and found one.
Not one, but everyone named Alexa. The Washington Post article I linked to didn't really attempt to tackle the potential issue of name collisions. It was chosen somewhat arbitrarily from my search results as an example of the annoyance in sharing a name with Amazon's voice assistant. If for some reason it bothers you, feel free to ignore it.

I think some of the other posters had the right idea: WireTap would've been an almost perfect name.
 
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rinaldo00

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Is it though? That's what I was curious about. I'd bet more than a few comedic events have resulted from Alex* and similar sounding names of Greek origins.

Not one, but everyone named Alexa. The Washington Post article I linked to didn't really attempt to tackle the potential issue of name collisions. It was chosen somewhat arbitrarily from my search results as an example of the annoyance in sharing a name with Amazon's voice assistant. If for some reason it bothers you, feel free to ignore it.

I think some of the other posters had the right idea: WireTap would've been an almost perfect name.
Yes, it bothers me. It bothers me because our society has made being a victim something to be proud of. Minor annoyances become fodder for articles in major newspapers. I guess we should find people upset with Wendy, or Oscar, or any other name used by a business.
Now I better stop before I get the thread locked.
 

Darunion

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I had several in the house , i think 3 but when i would connect a 4th it would disconnect the other 3, didnt matter which one it was just at 4 it would cause them all to drop. Not sure if it was something with my network or alexa. Since im down to just one and the wall clock. Works good for timers and weather. Used to use it for music but over time it was less effort to just use a bluetooth speaker.

I feel like the function of them just got worse over time.
 

Endgame

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It would be nice too, if they had a foul mouthed, extremely crude, politically incorrect version like Jexi too! Because on days where frustration is through the roof, things might actually be helpful! ;-)
I can’t imagine ever wanting that. It would wait till I’m in the middle of a zoom meeting with my boss and then kick in with a tapestry of obscenity.
 

1_rick

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That is another annoying thing, the only wake words you can use are Alexa, Echo, Computer, Amazon, and just recently added Ziggy.
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.
 

rinaldo00

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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.
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.
 

1_rick

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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.
Someone oughtta taunt Bezos about a crappy Sony barely-smartphone having better functionality almost 20 years ago than his "AI" crap.
 

UnknownSouljer

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I think this convo is fascinating, because for at least 5 years, comparing smart phone AI's has been a major point of contetion. With almost all reviewers stating that Alexa and Google Assistant are better than Siri, but here, almost uniformly everyone is stating that Alexa and GA are garbage.
 

MacLeod

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I think this is one of the first signs in a long time that we're not devolving into a lazy bunch of slobs like in that movie Wally.... Granted it's not a huge thing that people would rather type in their own Google searches or turn on their own light switches but after the last few years, it's still a welcome sign.
 
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