voice assistant


How AI Bots, Voice Assistants Are Changing Shopper Behaviors

#artificialintelligence

"It's important that retailers understand customers' communications preferences so they can invest in the right channels, personalize outreach, and ultimately, create effortless yet emotional customer experiences," says Harsh Jawharkar, vice president, head of marketing and partnerships at Narvar. Digging into the data by age group, Narvar found that millennials are more likely to prefer text and push notifications than baby boomers, with 43% of consumers between the ages of 18 and 29 preferring to receive order updates as text messages, versus 28% of consumers ages 60 and older. As artificial intelligence technology improves, bots will become more useful and will be better equipped to tackle complex issues. "While these channels are still new, our data reveals the majority of shoppers have at least tried messenger apps, voice devices or live chats," he says.


Samsung finally lets customers disable the Bixby button

Daily Mail

Samsung is finally allowing users to disable the Bixby button on Galaxy 8 and Note 8 phones. Samsung is finally allowing users to disable the Bixby button on Galaxy 8 and Note 8 phones. To do so, install the update, open the new toggle or Bixby setting, and select'don't open anything' To disable the button, install the update, open the new toggle or Bixby setting, and select'don't open anything.' Bixby is a smart assistant that operates through'Quick Commands' – a feature that allows users to create custom voice commands Bixby was initially available in South Korea with the launch of the Galaxy S8 in May, and was then launched in the US on 19 July, before launching worldwide last month.


Why 500 Million People in China Are Talking to This AI

MIT Technology Review

Some also use it to send text messages through voice commands while driving, or to communicate with a speaker of another Chinese dialect. But while some impressive progress in voice recognition and instant translation has enabled Xu to talk with his Canadian tenant, language understanding and translation for machines remains an incredibly challenging task (see "AI's Language Problem"). In August, iFlytek launched a voice assistant for drivers called Xiaofeiyu (Little Flying Fish). Min Chu, the vice president of AISpeech, another Chinese company working on voice-based human-computer interaction technologies, says voice assistants for drivers are in some ways more promising than smart speakers and virtual assistants embedded in smartphones.


iPhones, PCs and Amazon Echo worryingly easy to hack through their microphones

The Independent

Popular voice assistants, including Siri and Alexa, are easy to hack because of huge design flaws in modern devices, researchers have found. The team, from Zhejiang University, found that voice assistants can be triggered by voice commands that are inaudible to humans. "By injecting a sequence of inaudible voice commands, we show a few proof-of-concept attacks, which include activating Siri to initiate a FaceTime call on iPhone, activating Google Now to switch the phone to the airplane mode, and even manipulating the navigation system in an Audi automobile," the researchers said. By triggering Siri, Google Now, Samsung S Voice, Huawei HiVoice, Cortana, Alexa and Audi's voice recognition system, the researchers were able to hijack the following devices (maximum attack distances for recognition (executing control commands when the voice recognition systems are manually activated) and activation (when the voice recognition systems are unactivated) in brackets): To protect yourself from such an attack, you can switch off the always-on setting on Siri or the Google Assistant, or press the Mute button on Echo.


Siri and Alexa can be turned against you by ultrasound whispers

New Scientist

Assistants falling for the ploy included Amazon Alexa, Apple's Siri, Google Now, Samsung S Voice, Microsoft Cortana and Huawei HiVoice, as well as some voice control systems used in cars. When a voice assistant hears these sounds, they still recognise them as legitimate commands, even though they are imperceptible to the human ear. The owner's voice had to be surreptitiously recorded for playback as Apple's system recognises the speaker. To secure voice assistants in the future, sounds outside the human voice range could be suppressed or machine learning algorithms could listen out for similar style attacks, Vaidya says.


Amazon shoppers can connect when they visit a Kohl's

USATODAY

Kohl's shoppers will be able to buy devices, connected to Amazon's voice assistant, directly from the e commerce giant starting next month. Kohl's will have designated spaces to Amazon products in ten stores starting next month. They will be staffed by Amazon associates, and shoppers will purchase directly from Amazon rather than the department store chain. "We are thrilled to offer a unique new way for customers to try out our lineup of Alexa-enabled Amazon devices, learn more about our smart home services from Amazon experts and then buy those items directly from Amazon, all within Kohl's stores,'' Dave Zimmer, an Amazon vice president said in a statement.


Alexa and Google Assistant star in BBC's interactive radio plays

Engadget

The BBC is making a new kind of theater that works with your domestic voice assistant -- and makes you part of the show. And, in true British radio tradition, the story (titled The Inspection Chamber) will be a science fiction audio drama-comedy in the vein of Douglas Adams and Franz Kafka. BBC wanted to go beyond the traditional "choose your own adventure" mechanic by interacting with voice assistants. But they're also experimenting with release formats: Initially, episodes will come out for Amazon's Alexa and Google Home, but the team hopes to expand that to simultaneously drop content for all voice assistants, including the Harman Kardon Invoke speaker and Apple's HomePod.


The future of computing as predicted by nine science-fiction machines

The Guardian

"Our vision is to create that Star Trek computer and work backwards from that. And as with Star Trek's prediction of the iPad, the various voice assistants arguably wouldn't have come to be if Gene Roddenberry hadn't dreamed up the ever-present computer for Star Trek: The Next Generation, voiced by his wife, Majel Barrett. If Marvel's Iron Man is to believed, our AI assistants are more likely to be wise-cracking buddies with serious personality, possibly voiced by Paul Bettany, rather than the dulcet tones of Johansson. As Jarvis, Bettany has access to the internet, can control almost everything in Tony Stark's life, including his Iron Man suit, and comes across as having the smarts of a real life personal assistant.


Siri heads for a shake-up in the 'iPhone 8'

The Guardian

If you are a fan of Siri, then good news: Apple's voice assistant looks like it will be getting a promotion in the near future, thanks to the combination of iOS 11 and the "D22" iPhone (the leaked model thought to be the forthcoming "iPhone Pro, 8 or X"). For the first time, Siri will sync across devices, letting details it has picked up from your phone affect how it answers on your iPad or computer. The virtual assistant is being moved from the company's services division, led by Eddy Cue, to its software engineering division, headed by Craig Federighi. Cue has the unenviable task of overseeing some of the company's least-loved services, including iCloud, Apple Music and Apple Maps: freeing Siri from that line-up could work out well for the voice assistant.


Alexa can brief you on the latest in music news

Engadget

Alexa's Flash Briefings can help start your day by telling you about the latest headlines from various news sources and podcasts. Now, the voice assistant can also tell you what's going on about your favorite musicians. Amazon has launched "Today in Music" to provide you updates about the newest music news, releases, events and music-related Prime and Unlimited features, as well as to dole out music trivia and to hear exclusive commentary from artists. Once it's active, you can listen to music news whenever you want by asking the voice assistant "what's in the news" or "what's my Flash Briefing."