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Amazon's Alexa app now works hands-free on Android and iOS devices

Engadget

Alexa allows hands-free control of all manner of devices, but there's been one glaring exception: its own smartphone app. Amazon has finally brought that feature directly to Android and iOS devices via a new update. All you need to do is open the Alexa app, either manually or (ironically) via Google Assistant or Siri to stay hands-free. From there, you can control Alexa with your voice as you normally would on an Echo or other device and ask it to play music, control your smart home or anything else Alexa can do. The Alexa assistant has always worked on the app, but until now, you needed to touch the Alexa button on the bottom control bar for voice control.


Amazon Alexa keeps records of what you say--here's how to delete them

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Amazon studies user voice recordings to make improvements to Alexa, according to the company. Each time you say "Alexa" (or whatever your wake word of choice happens to be), Amazon might be listening. However, the company says the wake word and the command or question that follows is the only part that's being recorded. This is all to help Alexa get smarter, but this may leave some smart home users feeling a bit uneasy. While Amazon points out that an "extremely small fraction of voice recordings are manually reviewed," the recordings have been mismanaged in the past, including a few horror stories, so it doesn't hurt to take precautions. You can adjust Alexa's voice recording settings in the Amazon Alexa app, available for download on iOS and Android devices. There are other ways to manage your voice recordings in the Amazon Alexa app, like automatic deletion and turning off voice recordings altogether.


A Survey on Edge Intelligence

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Edge intelligence refers to a set of connected systems and devices for data collection, caching, processing, and analysis in locations close to where data is captured based on artificial intelligence. The aim of edge intelligence is to enhance the quality and speed of data processing and protect the privacy and security of the data. Although recently emerged, spanning the period from 2011 to now, this field of research has shown explosive growth over the past five years. In this paper, we present a thorough and comprehensive survey on the literature surrounding edge intelligence. We first identify four fundamental components of edge intelligence, namely edge caching, edge training, edge inference, and edge offloading, based on theoretical and practical results pertaining to proposed and deployed systems. We then aim for a systematic classification of the state of the solutions by examining research results and observations for each of the four components and present a taxonomy that includes practical problems, adopted techniques, and application goals. For each category, we elaborate, compare and analyse the literature from the perspectives of adopted techniques, objectives, performance, advantages and drawbacks, etc. This survey article provides a comprehensive introduction to edge intelligence and its application areas. In addition, we summarise the development of the emerging research field and the current state-of-the-art and discuss the important open issues and possible theoretical and technical solutions.


Alphabet's Next Billion-Dollar Business: 10 Industries To Watch - CB Insights Research

#artificialintelligence

Alphabet is using its dominance in the search and advertising spaces -- and its massive size -- to find its next billion-dollar business. From healthcare to smart cities to banking, here are 10 industries the tech giant is targeting. With growing threats from its big tech peers Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon, Alphabet's drive to disrupt has become more urgent than ever before. The conglomerate is leveraging the power of its first moats -- search and advertising -- and its massive scale to find its next billion-dollar businesses. To protect its current profits and grow more broadly, Alphabet is edging its way into industries adjacent to the ones where it has already found success and entering new spaces entirely to find opportunities for disruption. Evidence of Alphabet's efforts is showing up in several major industries. For example, the company is using artificial intelligence to understand the causes of diseases like diabetes and cancer and how to treat them. Those learnings feed into community health projects that serve the public, and also help Alphabet's effort to build smart cities. Elsewhere, Alphabet is using its scale to build a better virtual assistant and own the consumer electronics software layer. It's also leveraging that scale to build a new kind of Google Pay-operated checking account. In this report, we examine how Alphabet and its subsidiaries are currently working to disrupt 10 major industries -- from electronics to healthcare to transportation to banking -- and what else might be on the horizon. Within the world of consumer electronics, Alphabet has already found dominance with one product: Android. Mobile operating system market share globally is controlled by the Linux-based OS that Google acquired in 2005 to fend off Microsoft and Windows Mobile. Today, however, Alphabet's consumer electronics strategy is being driven by its work in artificial intelligence. Google is building some of its own hardware under the Made by Google line -- including the Pixel smartphone, the Chromebook, and the Google Home -- but the company is doing more important work on hardware-agnostic software products like Google Assistant (which is even available on iOS).


How To Implement Artificial Intelligence In Mobile App Development

#artificialintelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the few emerging technologies that promise to bring about some striking transformations in the blooming world of Android app development. When it comes to improving business relations, growth, and expectations, this technology has got the highest spotlight that cannot be overlooked by anyone looking to make a meaningful impact in the business world through technology. It is interesting to see how AI is growing rapidly to become the next big thing the world has ever known. Today, many app development companies around the world are not only interested in adopting AI but are also focused on putting the technology into the hands of people. Basically, they are looking to introduce it through apps in their mobile devices.


Amazon Echo Buds review: Alexa in your ear with Bose noise reduction

The Guardian

Amazon's first attempt at a set of true wireless earbuds gets a lot right, with Bose active noise reduction technology and hands-free Alexa. At £119.99, the Echo Buds undercut rivals, some of which cost more than twice as much. Their design is generic: large, kidney-shaped with a glossy touch panel on the outside and a standard silicone eartip on the inside. The eartip supports the earbud with the majority of the rest of the body sitting outside the ear. But the earbuds are large and heavy at 7.6g each, meaning they sit proud of your ear.


New Project Brings Industry Leaders Together to Simplify Smart Home

#artificialintelligence

A lot of news hit the industry last month at CES 2020. Amid new product and service announcements were some partnership announcements too. One that's worth picking back up and discussing is the new working group formed by Amazon, Apple, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance called Project Connected Home over IP, which aims to develop a new, open standard for smart-home device connectivity. According to MarketsandMarkets, the smart-home sector will be worth 151.4 billion by 2024. Growth will be driven in part by factors like increased awareness and adoption of smart devices, a growing desire for saving energy and reducing carbon footprints, the ubiquitous adoption of smartphones, and increasingly accessible solutions in terms of pricepoint and ease of use.


Is Siri spying on me? My iPad has shifted to Spanish ads after conversations in my home

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

I watch most TV shows and movies on my iPad these days, and something strange happened recently. My iPad – or rather apps such as Hulu and Bravo linked via Apple TV on my iPad – started showing me commercials in Spanish. That was interesting, since I hadn't touched the language settings, watched any shows in Spanish, or done any kind of internet activity in another language. But even more curious, was what had changed when the new commercials popped up. We had just moved to a more Spanish-speaking area of Oakland, California.


Why Amazon, Google and Apple want to record you

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Every person who brings a new Echo speaker from Amazon into their home gets automatically recorded every time they utter the "Alexa" wake word. That is, unless they mute the microphone on the device itself. Or diligently go to the Alexa smartphone app, to manually delete the recordings. Amazon could offer the option of not recording us, but it doesn't. And it will tell you every way but Tuesday how important the recordings are to "improve" the Alexa experience.


You're not paranoid: Your phone really is listening in

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

The scene plays out like a thriller: You pull out your phone, and you see an ad for AirPods. Wait a minute, you think. Didn't I just have a conversation about AirPods with my friend? Like, a real conversation, spoken aloud? Is my phone… listening to me?