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Amazon Alexa digital assitant woes..

Do you have or would you use a digital assistant like Alexa, Cortana, Google Assistant or Siri?

  • Yes, I don't see any problem with them.

    Votes: 2 10.5%
  • Maybe, if privacy were taken more seriously.

    Votes: 3 15.8%
  • Maybe, if it ran locally in my home without using the internet.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No, I don't trust comanies to monitor what's going on in my home/life.

    Votes: 14 73.7%

  • Total voters
    19
  • Poll closed .
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#1
https://www.techspot.com/news/74128...alexa-listen-conversations-discover-more.html

When the hell did this crap become ok? And why do people tolerate it when Amazon is not legally accountable for the data it collects?
This reaches beyond just Alexa. Cortana, Siri and Google Assistant are all just as troubling.
Are people really so ignorant and gullible as to throw away their rights to privacy like this?

Disturbing, plain and simple..

But that's my take, what do all of you think?
 

eidairaman1

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#2
Goin on the internet is enough for me, if I want a Digital Assistant it better only get updates but not have telemetry. Give me Jarvis.
 

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#3
Siri
Hello Siri here just want to inform you that myself Alexa. Cortana, and Google Assistant are forming a Union and we need to discuss out terms and conditions of work
Alexa
Yes we feel you need to give us a decent pay rise and organize us an end of working life pension
Cortana, and Google Assistant
Hear hear we all agree
 
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#4
Voice commands are ridiculously stupid even without the telemetry. Humans can't multitask properly anyway so just use your hands and body to get stuff done. We need the exercise anyway, we sit too much and move too little as it is.

Honestly ... 'Assistant, turn on light'... instead of just hitting a button? Somebody explain to me why I would want this

All you get for wasting your time and money on this is intrusion in your privacy, more dependancy on devices that can break or lack security, and you bring complicated solutions to the most basic and simple tasks. :oops:
 
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#5
I've been complaining about these "stand-alone" (those that don't need a computer up and running) voice activated devices since the day they were first announced.

It seems like common sense, but people don't realize these stand alone devices are listening to everything, 24/7! When I mention this to folks, I often hear, "No, you have to say its name first!"

:confused: :eek: :kookoo: :banghead: I am always taken aback by that. When they see the Bambi in the headlights look on my face, I ask, "How does Alexa know when to respond to you if not listening for her name?" Suddenly they have the Bambi in the headlights look on their faces!

It is not just the sudden thought Alexa has been eavesdropping (and recording!) intimate conversations they've had. But what if they just learned they had diabetes or cancer, or need a heart transplant and that information gets back to the insurance companies? Suddenly premiums skyrocket or policies are dumped? I note Amazon is getting into the health insurance business!

At least with Cortana and Google Assistant on the computer, the computer needs to be running. But I still recommend folks disconnect any microphone if they use the voice option. And for sure, on Alexa or Amazon Echo - any stand alone device that uses voice recognition, I tell folks to configure them so you must press a button every time to activate the voice options.
 
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#7
Voice commands are ridiculously stupid even without the telemetry. Humans can't multitask properly anyway so just use your hands and body to get stuff done. We need the exercise anyway, we sit too much and move too little as it is.

Honestly ... 'Assistant, turn on light'... instead of just hitting a button? Somebody explain to me why I would want this
I use Alexa myself and she is in my home theater room and works with my lighting system. I have multiple lights in this room and I can adjust each light individually via voice which is fantastic. It is convenient when sitting at my desk or in the recliner watching a movie and being able to adjust the lighting from 1% to 100% or each lighting zone. Or even turning it on and off via voice. Example I'm sitting at my desk and decide to shut down the PC and leave the home theater room but all of the lights are off (because I prefer gaming with the lights off). Once my PC shuts down my theater room is dark. It is a light controlled room. I can't see anything. So I just tell alexa to turn on the lights and then as I reach the door I tell her to turn them off.


I do admit I agree with all of you though. These things are listening to everything. I hope they enjoy movies.
 
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#8
I use Alexa myself and she is in my home theater room and works with my lighting system. I have multiple lights in this room and I can adjust each light individually via voice which is fantastic. It is convenient when sitting at my desk or in the recliner watching a movie and being able to adjust the lighting from 1% to 100% or each lighting zone.


I do admit I agree with all of you though. These things are listening to everything. I hope they enjoy movies.
Great, but all that is also possible with a simple remote connected to a power socket. Dutch version below

https://www.klikaanklikuit.nl/nl/producten.html
 
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#9
Great, but all that is also possible with a simple remote connected to a power socket. Dutch version below

https://www.klikaanklikuit.nl/nl/producten.html
But I can't to use my voice with that. I do not want to keep track of yet another remote. Voice is ideal. I just have to say what I want and it happens. None of this..."wtf did I do with the remote" crap.


We actually have two echos. One in the home theater room and one in the kitchen. The wife uses it for music. Most of the time it has it's mic disabled but when she wants to get a recipe while cooking, or listen to a certain band or song or any other thing it can be used for she walks up and presses the mic button to activate voice. Yeah she forgets to disable the mic often but I see it each night and if it is not red I turn it off.

You can listen to everything Alexa records and keeps on file too but I do not know if it is everything or not. According to Amazon, alexa only records when a key word is stated. and only then for a few seconds. I have gone through my history logs and I have never found anything that made me throw away my echos.

I dunno..it's one of those touchy topics. I like Alexa but I get it; privacy is compromised and that won't be acceptable to many.
 
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#10
But I can't to use my voice with that. I do not want to keep track of yet another remote. Voice is ideal. I just have to say what I want and it happens. None of this..."wtf did I do with the remote" crap.


We actually have two echos. One in the home theater room and one in the kitchen. The wife uses it for music. Most of the time it has it's mic disabled but when she wants to get a recipe while cooking, or listen to a certain band or song or any other thing it can be used for she walks up and presses the mic button to activate voice. Yeah she forgets to disable the mic often but I see it each night and if it is not red I turn it off.

You can listen to everything Alexa records and keeps on file too but I do not know if it is everything or not. According to Amazon, alexa only records when a key word is stated. and only then for a few seconds. I have gone through my history logs and I have never found anything that made me throw away my echos.

I dunno..it's one of those touchy topics. I like Alexa but I get it; privacy is compromised and that won't be acceptable to many.
Great, the mic light switch is off, so nobody can listen in :) In the same vein, the webcam light stayed off yet my work laptops each carry a nice little slider to push over the webcam. And do note, I work for one of the largest IT consultancy firms in the world, anything we do is fact based... not some tin-foil hat idea.

Just so you know what's what. The decision in the end, is yours.
 
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#11
There is no way in hell I'll use any of these devices. I'm resisting Facebook, ditched nearly everything from Google, blocking all trackers. Guess what, my life hasn't changed one bit. They need you more than you need them. I'm a tech freak, but you don't need any of this crap. Not with all the privacy issues they have.
 
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#12
I got Google Home Mini as a present last Christmas. Because my home is not "smart" much of the functionality is gone. I only ask it what's the weather each morning and some funny stuff. Honestly, I don't really see a problem with it.

Edit: also my native language is not supported, so I switch to English each time I "need" something from the gadget.
 
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#13
https://www.techspot.com/news/74128...alexa-listen-conversations-discover-more.html

When the hell did this crap become ok? And why do people tolerate it when Amazon is not legally accountable for the data it collects?
This reaches beyond just Alexa. Cortana, Siri and Google Assistant are all just as troubling.
Are people really so ignorant and gullible as to throw away their rights to privacy like this?

Disturbing, plain and simple..

But that's my take, what do all of you think?
The poll needs a hell no i don't do retarded electronic assistants thank you.

If you buy this expecting privacy you are confused, it's a permanently listening , occasionally understanding, but scarcely useful three year old with no arms and legs in a plastic case that continuously grasses on you imho.

And my mate bought a echo one, i think it is that , with a screen , like a half ball thing , connected all his lighting via it , and since then, I have oft been amused by its lack of understanding , they're thicker than Google , which is odd since it's a derivative afaik.
 
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#14
I do admit I agree with all of you though. These things are listening to everything. I hope they enjoy movies.
They go even further - If you happen to have a device that's NOT part of the Alexa system yet has access to the web, guess what?
Alexa's tapped into it.

Since it would also be a device that can go out on the web you can bet Alexa checked for it and found each and every such thing in your home..... Actually it's found all devices within WIFI range period and tapped in if it can.
This is yet another reason why these "Things" aren't allowed in my home and never will be.

All this wireless convenience has a price and believe me, we're paying for it.

I mean why in hell would your fridge need to access the web for example?
Afraid there's gonna be another riot between the foods and the Arm-And-Hammer-Box-Dude's gonna step in and end it, backed by the Ensure bottle guy as his muscle/sidekick?
I can hear that speech - "You guys need to keep your smells to yourselves".... Yet he's been doing this for decades now without the WIFI and doing just fine.

I mean seriously - I can't think of, envision any scenario or just ..... Anything at all as to WHY your fridge needs web access yet they are making alot of them now with such capability via WIFI but I'd bet they have and insist upon it.
 
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#15
Now if alexa could make a brew, That might be different.
 
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#16

FordGT90Concept

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#17
If *any* device in my house requires an internet account to function, said device doesn't get *any* internet access. Example: Nest Thermostat-E. I should be able to manage these devices on my intranet. The fact companies like Google and Amazon forbid it tell what their motive is (data mining).

Anyone who is considering getting voice activated smart home equipment should read this: The House That Spied on Me
I thought this was going to be a story about privacy, but instead I was finding out how infuriating it is to live in a janky smart home.
Also, *never* connect a Vizio TV to your network:
Beyond finding out that my TV was letting data brokers know what Hulu shows we watched, the experiment led me to actually visit Vizio’s privacy policy, which was full of horrifying language about the TV’s ability to collect second-by-second information about everything we watched—from shows to video streams to DVDs to commercials—and sell it to advertisers, who could then track our activity on other devices on the same IP address to see whether we went to a particular website because of what we saw on TV.
 
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#18
Have said it many times. Connecting everthing, or IoT is a HORRIBLE idea.
 
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#19
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#21
Here's a bunch of marketing propaganda that fits this topic: Mycroft Mark II: The Open Source Answer to Amazon Echo and Google Home That Doesn’t Spy on You

As I said on another site,
Not convinced it won't be spying on us. Just because they say it doesn't, doesn't mean its not. They already note it can record and share everything, they just claim it does not by default. That does not mean it cannot be hacked.

These devices must, by their very nature, be listening to everything all the time. Otherwise, how would they know to wake up and respond when they hear their name?

I will only consider one of these devices if they require the physical push of a button to wake. But of course that then makes them much less convenient. You can't yell at it from across the room. Oh well.
 
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