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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 2071
    JezWynd said:
    I wouldn't want something in my house that is constantly listening (even if it's only for me to say 'Alexa'). Scary devices.
    Make sure you have a code for when planning to bring down the authorities or she'll rat you up.  I get the general point but there is nothing said in my house worth listening I can tell you : )
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  • MyrandaMyranda Frets: 2728
    munckee said:
    JezWynd said:
    I wouldn't want something in my house that is constantly listening (even if it's only for me to say 'Alexa'). Scary devices.
    Make sure you have a code for when planning to bring down the authorities or she'll rat you up.  I get the general point but there is nothing said in my house worth listening I can tell you : )
    Are you sure you've never discussed the sort of things that could be monetised? Perhaps you once mentioned a preference for Persil over Daz? Maybe you once mentioned that you might like a new toaster?

    Suddenly Persil and Toasters are everywhere you look.

    Perhaps a minor thing, but how about you talk about your  food preferences then some day apply for health insurance and they say "No, data we bought from Amazon indicates you like bad food so we can't insure you" or apply for a job "sorry, the owner is Vegan and you've been eating meat recently" 

    Once upon a time the fear was you'd say something illegal, but the future is showing that totally innocuous things can make changes around us. Big data is worth a lot - so your opinions are worth listening to.

    Of course on a technical level Alexa is meant to only be actively listening after you say "Alexa" prior to that it's ignoring you (according to their own information, but who knows if that might change via an online update)
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  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 2571
    Myranda said:

    Of course on a technical level Alexa is meant to only be actively listening after you say "Alexa" prior to that it's ignoring you (according to their own information, but who knows if that might change via an online update)
    Exactly right. I can think of a host of situations in which the trigger is altered for fun, malice or money. Getting people to accept a listening device in their homes is the first step on a very slippery slope.
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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 2071
    I get the concerns but its no difference to the internet basing adverts on what you click on or look up, if you think about it too much you will end up talking in codes and wearing tin foil hats so your brain waves can't be intercepted.
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 14386
    That doesn't work any more - they've changed tin foil so that it now acts as an antenna, not a shield. 
    Parachutes are great, for dogs and Frenchmen. 
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  • ewalewal Frets: 790
    I work for a Council IT service. Some bright spark has decided we should develop an Alexa skill which allows citizens to ask what the Council office hours are, school holidays etc, the business case being to "reduce avoidable contact". What utter bollocks! The effort required to build and train the skill, especially for it to have sufficient knowledge to be useful is very significant. Add to that the proprietary nature of the development environment meaning that the AI is not re-usable, the still very limited market share (in comparison to a plain old web browser), and the fact we are effectively freely promoting Amazon by offering an Alexa skill - it appears to me to be a huge waste of time and resources.I think we should focus our time and effort on tried and tested communications channels instead.

    However, I am ignored when I voice these concerns... I've reached the conclusion that all we care about is looking innovative to our peers rather than actually providing a useful service. A vanity project... All style over substance... Digital transformation in a nutshell...

    Whatever happened to common sense? I think I'm getting too old and grumpy to do this job...
    The Scrambler-EE Walk soundcloud experience
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  • sev112sev112 Frets: 389
    Of course almost all of us has had a listening device in our pockets and at home for a lot longer than Alexa has been about 

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  • scrumhalfscrumhalf Frets: 5082
    sev112 said:
    Of course almost all of us has had a listening device in our pockets and at home for a lot longer than Alexa has been about 

    I thought tissues were supposed to catch and kill bugs.
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 14386
    I thought he meant stethoscopes.
    Parachutes are great, for dogs and Frenchmen. 
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  • sev112sev112 Frets: 389
    Phones ? They do much more than Alexa ever can.
    they are listening and transmitting all the time ....
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 14386
    Still pretty sure you meant stethoscopes. 
    Parachutes are great, for dogs and Frenchmen. 
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  • ewalewal Frets: 790
    Please don't humanize it by referring to it as Alexa. My mum gets offended... It's an Amazon smart sales device. At least the equivalent Google gadget just goes by the name Google...
    The Scrambler-EE Walk soundcloud experience
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  • thecolourboxthecolourbox Frets: 3380
    edited December 3
    ewal said:
    I work for a Council IT service. Some bright spark has decided we should develop an Alexa skill which allows citizens to ask what the Council office hours are, school holidays etc, the business case being to "reduce avoidable contact". What utter bollocks! The effort required to build and train the skill, especially for it to have sufficient knowledge to be useful is very significant. Add to that the proprietary nature of the development environment meaning that the AI is not re-usable, the still very limited market share (in comparison to a plain old web browser), and the fact we are effectively freely promoting Amazon by offering an Alexa skill - it appears to me to be a huge waste of time and resources.I think we should focus our time and effort on tried and tested communications channels instead.

    However, I am ignored when I voice these concerns... I've reached the conclusion that all we care about is looking innovative to our peers rather than actually providing a useful service. A vanity project... All style over substance... Digital transformation in a nutshell...

    Whatever happened to common sense? I think I'm getting too old and grumpy to do this job...
    Probably that but also there is a big trend of late especially with authorities but also with other big organisations to make themselves uncontactable so as to be able to ignore people and just impress what they want instead. 

    I always hold up British Gas as the milestone for this kind of thing, and they do this too - automated lines which don't have the option you want, then when you are trying to book a boiler service you can't because you don't have a Home care customer number, because you are not yet a customer hence why you are calling. So in the end you give up and try to email about it off the website. When that doesn't work either you give up and then a text message appears - do you want to talk to us about a boiler service? Text yes if so. Of course I bloody do!!! So I text yes. I miss the call back due to life happening. I curse, I try to ring back. Hello, this is British Gas, we tried to call you but it's not urgent. Goodbye. Yes it is urgent I needed a boiler service two weeks ago!!!!

    Oppress the people, then give them stuff you want them to have as it's for your benefit, humanise it, then skin them alive for it.

    It  should be the job of the job of the shepherd to watch over his sheep, not slaughter them

    Water, come drown me, I'm done

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  • ewalewal Frets: 790
    I am forever reminding my colleagues that we are a public service not an online company. Therefore we can't just close contact channels without first carefully assessing impact on service users.

    Quite ironic that me as the manager responsible for online services is such a neo-luddite...
    The Scrambler-EE Walk soundcloud experience
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  • NelsonPNelsonP Frets: 600
    JezWynd said:
    I wouldn't want something in my house that is constantly listening (even if it's only for me to say 'Alexa'). Scary devices.
    If Alexa is listening to what goes on in my house then she will come to the conclusion that what I really need is some peace and quiet. And if they figure out a way to 'monetise' that then I will happily pay!
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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 11389
    I don't even know what we are talking about here.

    I presume it's one of those strange things whereby we pay money to assist someone in knowing all about or lives and everything we do.
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