After last week's incident, where a family in Oregon had a private conversation recorded and sent to a third party in Seattle by their Amazon Alexa, lots of people are getting worried about what your Alexa might be recoding without you knowing. Fortunately, there's an easy way to see and hear what Alexa has been capturing during the day to day chatter in your home of office.
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What's the most terrifying thing you can imagine an Amazon Echo doing? Think realistically. Would it be something simple but sinister, like the artificially-intelligent speaker recording a conversation between you and a loved one and then sending that recording to an acquaintance? That seems pretty bad to me. And guess what: it's happening.
HP announced a refreshed line of both consumer and professional devices, including some appealing all-in-one computers that add some pretty novel features and make an attempt to counter the permanence that plagues all-in-one devices (and the lack of competing voice assistants in PCs). The coolest part? A slick hidden camera that, frankly, needs to be in everything.
Alexa, a voice assistant that is pretty ok at setting alarms most of the time, may soon be equally mediocre at providing medical advice. Amazon in the US is reportedly building out a team dedicated to expanding Alexa's health and wellness capabilities.
DeepMusic is a new Alexa skill that can create music by using audio samples and a neural network. Basically, it puts together notes from a variety of instruments and sampled audio by using algorithms that determine what works. Then, DeepMusic creates tunes that have “no post-production editing by a human".
I've been adding a bunch of smart home devices to my home. It's part of an ongoing experiment to see what I can do to make my life easier, my home safer and to save some money on power bills. But I'm finding that I keep hitting some roadblocks. And while I do hit the odd technical roadblock, I'm finding that the biggest problems stem from the intransigence of vendors.
It's late a night. It's dark and the house is quiet. You're alone. Suddenly, you hear a laugh coming from another room. After you change your pants, you start investigating, hoping that the hours you've dedicated to watching Die Hard every Christmas and wishing you could pull Black Widow's moves will be be enough. Then you hear the laugh again only to discover it's Amazon Alexa, randomly laughing without a prompt.
Your smart speaker is getting smarter - and part of that involves taking over what's on the big TV screen sat in the corner of your living room. Y
Sonos has been, arguably, the leader when it comes to high quality, multi-room sound. And while a lot of their kit costs a pretty penny, they have always justified their high prices by offering awesome sound quality. But the Sonos One is a new frontier for the Santa Barbara-based company. As well as delivering great sound, it's the company's first foray into the world of smart speakers. I've been road testing the Sonos One for a couple of weeks. Here's what I've learned.
It seems like every new wireless speaker on the market comes with a voice assistant now. Since 2014, when Amazon announced the Echo, the idea of a smart speaker has taken the gadget world by storm. Apple has finally thrown its hat into the ring with the release of the HomePod, leaving us to wonder which smart speaker is the best smart speaker. So we tested them to find out.
The day we've been waiting for is finally here - we can finally pre-order the Amazon Echo, welcoming her into our homes in early February.
But what exactly will the Aussie Alexa, with her new 'strayn accent, be able to do?
We've been waiting a long time for either the Google Home or Amazon's Alexa AI assistant to reach Australian shores. Both are voice-activated speakers that can handle a bit of your life admin, giving you a calendar update or keeping track of your shopping list. But now they can talk to each other -- and they get along -- so I'm not sure how long it'll take until they realise that they should just team up and kill all humans.
Smart home technology has found its way in many of today's households, meaning it's time to learn to code for this booming platform. With the Amazon Alexa Coding Bundle, you can capitalize on the success of Amazon's smart home tech by building your own voice-activated applications.
A couple of hours after Amazon announced the new Echo Show, a touchscreen communication device powered by the company's AI voice assistant Alexa, I got an email from a PR firm representing a company called Nucleus. The subject was salacious: "Amazon is out for blood - the Echo Show is proof." I almost never reply to these emails, but the story this one told intrigued me.
Amazon recently announced that the Alexa AI powering its Echo and other hardware has now learned 1,000 "skills" (up from just 135 in January). In case you're not up to speed with all the new tricks, we've picked out 40 of our favourites -- you can discover the other 960 yourself.