'Alexa, are you invading my privacy?' – the dark side of our voice assistants

The Guardian

One day in 2017, Alexa went rogue. When Martin Josephson, who lives in London, came home from work, he heard his Amazon Echo Dot voice assistant spitting out fragmentary commands, seemingly based on his previous interactions with the device. It appeared to be regurgitating requests to book train tickets for journeys he had already taken and to record TV shows that he had already watched. Josephson had not said the wake word – "Alexa" – to activate it and nothing he said would stop it. It was, he says, "Kafkaesque". This was especially interesting because Josephson (not his real name) was a former Amazon employee.


Apple explains how it uses U.S. Census data and ML to make Siri a local

#artificialintelligence

Based in part on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Apple has been able to tune Siri to better understand users based on where they are and what POIs they're more likely to ask about. Apple says machine learning on its own has helped improve automatic speech recognition for general language over the years, but "recognizing named entities, like small local businesses" has proved a performance bottleneck. We decided to improve Siri's ability to recognize names of local POIs by incorporating knowledge of the user's location into our speech recognition system. That's done partly by relying on data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau: We define geo regions based on the combined statistical areas (CSAs) [1] from U.S. Census Bureau. The CSAs consist of adjacent metropolitan areas that are economically and socially linked, as measured by commuting patterns.


Detroit auto show: Tech giants take the wheel in voice recognition systems

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Can you fix voice recognition in new cars? After years of designing their own often-faulty voice recognition systems, auto companies are handing the reins over to tech giants that have already developed the technology for their devices. The trend is on full display at the 2019 Detroit auto show, where automakers are showcasing new vehicles with increasingly common systems that allow drivers to plug in their phones and bypass built-in infotainment systems. Using spoken commands to tune the radio, make a call or get directions has required patience, awkward pronunciation and frequent do-overs ever since it became possible in some vehicles earlier this century.


Raspberry Pi: Google plans more AI projects to follow DIY voice recognition kit

ZDNet

The Kit originally came with a copy of the Raspberry Pi Magazine. Google is working on more artificial intelligence projects to follow its Voice Kit for Raspberry Pi. Four ways to explore the use of voice technology for your business. Google's AIY Voice Kit is a do-it-yourself voice-recognition kit for Raspberry Pi-based maker projects. The initial run of the kits sold out in a few hours, but Google said more will be available for purchase in stores and online in the US in the coming weeks, and the kit will be available elsewhere by the end of the year.


Are Microsoft And VocalZoom The Peanut Butter And Chocolate Of Voice Recognition?

#artificialintelligence

Moore's law has driven silicon chip circuitry to the point where we are surrounded by devices equipped with microprocessors. The devices are frequently wonderful; communicating with them – not so much. Pressing buttons on smart devices or keyboards is often clumsy and never the method of choice when effective voice communication is possible. The keyword in the previous sentence is "effective". Technology has advanced to the point where we are in the early stages of being able to communicate with our devices using voice recognition.