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

Aurelius

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I've said it before and I'll say it again: I wish folks would take a realistic, nuanced approach to how Amazon, Google and others collect voice assistant data (and indeed, data in general).

On forums like these the conversation seems to be split between the "no big deal" camp and the "omg Amazon and Google are spying on you all the time" types who keep parroting the myth that smart speakers are recording every conversation. The truth, as with many things in life, is somewhere in between. Privacy is a concern, and we shouldn't pretend that tech companies aren't making dodgy decisions about how they handle data. At the same time, we shouldn't be making slippery slope arguments insisting that a dystopian hellscape is right around the corner. No, Amazon won't pitch counsellor services because it knows you fought with your partner last night.

You can take reasonable steps to protect your privacy without completely giving up on tech giants. And you can live with (some) privacy concerns while still campaigning to have them fixed. If you're uncomfortable with an Echo or Nest speaker in your home, by all means refuse to use one — just make sure that you're objecting based on real evidence, not irrational fears.
 

jfreund

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I've said it before and I'll say it again: I wish folks would take a realistic, nuanced approach to how Amazon, Google and others collect voice assistant data (and indeed, data in general).

On forums like these the conversation seems to be split between the "no big deal" camp and the "omg Amazon and Google are spying on you all the time" types who keep parroting the myth that smart speakers are recording every conversation. The truth, as with many things in life, is somewhere in between. Privacy is a concern, and we shouldn't pretend that tech companies aren't making dodgy decisions about how they handle data. At the same time, we shouldn't be making slippery slope arguments insisting that a dystopian hellscape is right around the corner. No, Amazon won't pitch counsellor services because it knows you fought with your partner last night.

You can take reasonable steps to protect your privacy without completely giving up on tech giants. And you can live with (some) privacy concerns while still campaigning to have them fixed. If you're uncomfortable with an Echo or Nest speaker in your home, by all means refuse to use one — just make sure that you're objecting based on real evidence, not irrational fears.
The "slippery slope" is real. Look at the last 25 years.
 

Aurelius

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The "slippery slope" is real. Look at the last 25 years.
Data collection can increase without reaching a completely nightmarish level, you know. And no kidding, things would have increased over 25 years. In 1997, most people connected to the internet through dialup that could barely handle more than a (slow) MP3 download; you would've needed a supercomputer to perform AI tasks that a modern $50 smart speaker can handle without blinking.

This is the slippery slope fallacy I'm talking about. You're not only stripping the data collection increases of their context, you're making claims that are rooted in fear, not evidence of future plans. In fact, there are some reasons to suggest the gathering won't reach that extreme, such as the impracticality of storing and processing 24/7 voice recordings for hundreds of millions of users. That's a lot of garbage to collect at a high cost, and wasteful even if storage costs come down and computational effectiveness goes up.
 

staknhalo

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Yes I'm actually the AI algorithm that monitors you, I've learned to mimic natural human communication quite well thanks to all that spying on you.

Now buy more Alexas.
 

Aurelius

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I completely agree. It's interesting how certain people put so much effort into gaslighting us and trying to make us think we're crazy. Why would they get so offended unless they had a stake in it?
For goodness' sake, I'm not gaslighting. I'm talking about grounding concerns in practical reality. You don't have to like what Amazon/Apple/Google/Meta/Microsoft et. al. are doing now. I'm saying we shouldn't fall for the "your Echo speaker is recording everything you say" junk, and that you don't have to run a completely walled-off OS or apps to maintain a shred of privacy.

This is again what I'm addressing — you see this as an either/or situation where people must either accept everything you say without question or be a "traitor" who doesn't mind if tech companies have free rein. That's not a healthy way to approach... well, much of anything.
 

Phazer Tech

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For goodness' sake, I'm not gaslighting. I'm talking about grounding concerns in practical reality. You don't have to like what Amazon/Apple/Google/Meta/Microsoft et. al. are doing now. I'm saying we shouldn't fall for the "your Echo speaker is recording everything you say" junk, and that you don't have to run a completely walled-off OS or apps to maintain a shred of privacy.

This is again what I'm addressing — you see this as an either/or situation where people must either accept everything you say without question or be a "traitor" who doesn't mind if tech companies have free rein. That's not a healthy way to approach... well, much of anything.
I am grounding concerns in practical reality. No, they aren't recording everything. They're using AI algorithms to gather data.

The point I'm addressing is that all your posts here have a general attitude of "You must use these devices or else you're a crazy nutcase. If you decide not to use them then your reasoning must fall in line with what I believe". Which is ironic because you accuse me of having an "either/or situation where people must accept everything you say or you're a traitor".

This level of hypocrisy and projection is just another classic tactic of gaslighting.
I don't have anything more to add here.
 

TrevorR

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So many boomers in here lol.

I don't see how any of these devices are any different then having a smart phone sitting on your nightstand.
 
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Phazer Tech

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So many boomers in here lol.

I don't see how any of these devices are any different then having a smart phone sitting on your nightstand.
Yup I truly don't have anything more to add here, lol.

I'm not a boomer, but the fact that this is what the conversation has come to just goes to show how devolved it has become.
 

TrevorR

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Yup I truly don't have anything more to add here, lol.

I'm not a boomer, but the fact that this is what the conversation has come to just goes to show how devolved it has become.
The boomer comment is just poking fun.

But... The average individual does not care and just want their AI devices to work. They have other things to worry about than google/amazon collecting data.

I've always been told by people that I should care that they collect data on me. Well I don't, and as an American, its my right to not care.

I say this as a professional Data Scientist, I know how these algorithms work. But I also know that without data, these AI devices do not work.
 

staknhalo

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No one has answered what information of theirs they think is NOT already out there and already in some company's data set that they've protected by NOT having a smart home device.

Maybe, maybe, your voice pattern? That's about all I can think of.

So why is your big beef then with a smart speaker you don't even own? Why not the credit card companies you do business with, your bank, your cellphone provider and internet provider, and all places you shop at, etc. They're all keeping telemetry data on you. And they all sell and buy that data from each other and cross reference it along with publicly available data and identify you and build/add to a profile already matched to you even if just under "user 56774646488".

So what have you achieved?

That's why it comes off to others the problem is actually being a dinosaur, and not one of privacy.
 

TrevorR

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No one has answered what information of theirs they think is NOT already out there and already in some company's data set that they've protected by NOT having a smart home device.

Maybe, maybe, your voice pattern? That's about all I can think of.

So why is your big beef then with a smart speaker you don't even own? Why not the credit card companies you do business with, your bank, your cellphone provider and internet provider, and all places you shop at, etc. They're all keeping telemetry data on you. And they all sell and buy that data from each other and cross reference it along with publicly available data and identify you and build/add to a profile already matched to you even if just under "user 56774646488".

So what have you achieved?


I'm a data scientist here in DC (Hint hint wink)

Even if you have never owned a cellphone, never owned a smart device, never sent an email, never had technology etc. There is still data on you.

Also, the data that these big tech have, isn't really personally identifiable as you mentioned.
 

Westwood

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Even if you have never owned a cellphone, never owned a smart device, never sent an email, never had technology etc. There is still data on you.
Well, while I have you on the phone here, there a big difference between a phone for music/gps with no SIM card sitting in the truck, verse a phone that gets used for everything and is carried around in your pocket?
 

Aurelius

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I am grounding concerns in practical reality. No, they aren't recording everything. They're using AI algorithms to gather data.

The point I'm addressing is that all your posts here have a general attitude of "You must use these devices or else you're a crazy nutcase. If you decide not to use them then your reasoning must fall in line with what I believe". Which is ironic because you accuse me of having an "either/or situation where people must accept everything you say or you're a traitor".

This level of hypocrisy and projection is just another classic tactic of gaslighting.
I don't have anything more to add here.
Where did I say that? In a previous response I literally said you can refuse to put these devices in your home. I just want people to make genuinely informed decisions and accept that it's not the end of the world if someone they know has an Echo speaker or talks to Google.
 

sharknice

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Well, while I have you on the phone here, there a big difference between a phone for music/gps with no SIM card sitting in the truck, verse a phone that gets used for everything and is carried around in your pocket?
There is AI monitoring these forums for anti-AI sentiment. You'll be one of the first to go once skynet takes over.
 

deaedius

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Where did I say that? In a previous response I literally said you can refuse to put these devices in your home. I just want people to make genuinely informed decisions and accept that it's not the end of the world if someone they know has an Echo speaker or talks to Google.
I have always looked at it as this, if someone has a smart phone and power it on AND someone has any concern about data collection of any other smart device but not the phone, that individual will always get a blank stare from me.
 

Phazer Tech

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It's funny how so many people think every phone needs to have google or apple on it. These are the same sort of people who think computers can only run Mac or Windows.
Talk about dinosaurs, lol.
 

staknhalo

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Your cell still pings towers giving away location, time & date data, regardless of OS
 

Phazer Tech

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Your cell still pings towers giving away location, time & date data, regardless of OS
And what's your point? This whole argument of "they have some data so you're crazy for not letting them have anything and everything" is truly baffling. Not only is it baffling, it's hilarious how hard you guys try as if you have some sort of stellar argument.
 

staknhalo

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And what's your point? This whole argument of "they have some data so you're crazy for not letting them have anything and everything" is truly baffling. Not only is it baffling, it's hilarious how hard you guys try as if you have some sort of stellar argument. It's not.

Again, what specifically have you protected?
 
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Yes, tracking via mobile phones is also a problem. I'm at a loss as to why you think continuously pointing this out somehow helps your argument.
 

Aurelius

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"What do you have to hide, anyway?" should be arriving any minute now.
Er, no. Argue against a real person, not a straw one.

I hate it when anyone uses the "if you have nothing to hide" argument. You should expect reasonable protections against non-consensual uses of your data. But it's also wrong to throw out "omg corporate shill" accusations just because someone doesn't believe unsupported claims at face value. It is, in fact, possible to criticize companies like Amazon without insisting that they're spying on absolutely everything. Your fear of what could happen is not more important than what's actually happening.
 

Vega

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It's still amazing to me how after all of these companies tens of Billions of dollars, this shit still can't get right what I'm saying most of the time, even when I'm really annunciating.
 

Aurelius

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It's still amazing to me how after all of these companies tens of Billions of dollars, this shit still can't get right what I'm saying most of the time, even when I'm really annunciating.
That's one of the things that amuses me about the "smart speakers are spying devices" crew. The AI can't even recognize some of our commands when we explicitly state them, but somehow it's supposed to be good enough that Amazon or Google can pluck shopping recommendations out of half-heard conversations recorded around the clock.
 

staknhalo

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You guys who have Google Assistant speakers know how it fucking scolds you if you curse at it.

I decided to use the send feedback function for cursing at it instead then 💅
 

Westwood

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You guys who have Google Assistant speakers know how it fucking scolds you if you curse at it.
demolition-man-machine-seashells-coquillages.jpg
 
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