Hot on the heels of Amazon admitting it can listen to private Alexa audio, a new report has revealed that employees can also access users' home addresses. An Amazon team charged with auditing Alexa users' commands can see users' latitude and longitude coordinates, allowing them to easily discover their addresses, Bloomberg reported, citing sources close to the situation. It's the same team uncovered by Bloomberg earlier this month, which is located all over the world and sifts through thousands of recordings, transcribing and analyzing them in the process. An Amazon team charged with auditing Alexa users' commands can see their location coordinates, allowing them to easily discover their addresses, a new report has found Tap the menu button on the top-left of the screen. Select'Manage how your data improves Alexa.' Turn the button next to'Help Develop New Features' to off.
Voice recordings captured by Amazon's Alexa can be deleted but the automatically produced transcriptions remain in the company's cloud, according to reports. After Alexa hears its'wake' word, the smart assistant starts listening and transcribing everything it hears. All the voice commands said to the virtual assistant can be deleted from the central system, but the company still has the the text logs, according to CNET. This data is kept on its cloud servers, with no option for users to delete it, but the company claims it is working on ways to make the data inaccessible. Amazon workers are listening to private and sometimes disturbing voice recordings to improve the voice-assistants understanding of human speech.
Tens of millions of people use smart speakers and their voice software to play games, find music or trawl for trivia. Millions more are reluctant to invite the devices and their powerful microphones into their homes out of concern that someone might be listening. Inc. employs thousands of people around the world to help improve the Alexa digital assistant powering its line of Echo speakers. The team listens to voice recordings captured in Echo owners' homes and offices. The recordings are transcribed, annotated and then fed back into the software as part of an effort to eliminate gaps in Alexa's understanding of human speech and help it better respond to commands.
Amazon, Apple and Google all employ staff who listen to customer voice recordings from their smart speakers and voice assistant apps. News site Bloomberg highlighted the topic after speaking to Amazon staff who "reviewed" Alexa recordings. All three companies say voice recordings are occasionally reviewed to improve speech recognition. But the reaction to the Bloomberg article suggests many customers are unaware that humans may be listening. The news site said it had spoken to seven people who reviewed audio from Amazon Echo smart speakers and the Alexa service.
Hope is at hand for millions of frustrated smart assistant users across the UK as the BBC announces plans for'Beeb', an AI that will recognise all British regional accents. Videos of Glaswegians, Liverpudlians, Mancunians and others have spread online in recent years, showing their struggles with products like Amazon's Alexa. Many have been forced to adopt a'received pronunciation' way of speaking to be understood. Ironically, this formal accent was once seen as a bastion of style within the BBC's own cadre of presenters. Developers claim the smart assistant will be available next year on the BBC's website, iPlayer and as a software plugin for hardware like Amazon's Echo speaker range.