Amazon has revealed an experimental Alexa feature that allows the AI assistant to mimic the voices of users’ dead relatives.
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Earlier that summer, the information technology department at SLU had installed about 2,300 of the smart speakers—one for each of the university’s residence hall rooms, making the school the first in the country to do so. Each device was pre-programmed with answers to about 130 SLU-specific questions, ranging from library hours to the location of the registrar’s office (the school dubbed this “AskSLU”). The devices also included the basic voice “skills” available on other Dots, including alarms and reminders, general information, and the ability to stream music.
So, why are people concerned?
'Eva Blum-Dumontet, a senior researcher at Privacy International, which obtained the contract, said the issue with the partnership was not about “data sharing” but about “transparency”. Several sections have been redacted by the Department of Health and Social Care to protect Amazon’s commercial interests.'
A partnership with the NHS means the Amazon digital assistant will be able to answer questions such as “Alexa, how do I treat a migraine?” by searching the official health service website.
When Amazon customers speak to Alexa, the company’s AI-powered voice assistant, they may be heard by more people than they expect, according to a report.
Amazon employees around the world regularly listen to recordings from the company’s smart speakers as part of the development process for new services