Amazon’s range of smart speakers and their artificial intelligence assistant Alexa have proved to be a huge sales hit. But the product is still a shadow of what the man in charge – Dave Limp – and indeed their owners, hope it will become.Read more
The consumer IT giants — such as Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft — have all invested heavily in voice technology. Analyst Gartner estimated two years that 30 percent of our interactions with technology will be through ‘conversations’ with smart machines by 2018.Read more
Researchers have crafted algorithms that can blend an audio recording of someone talking with a video of them saying something else – and create a new convincing lip-synched video with the replacement sound.Read more
ASK ALEXA ABOUT the weather, and it’ll tell you it’s sunny and 75 in a pleasant monotone. Prompt it to tell you a joke, and it’ll offer a pun in its signature staccato. Suggest that it sing a song, and it’ll belt out an auto-tuned country ballad.Read more
THE AMAZON ECHO is a stupendously powerful device. It can control your lights, play Ed Sheeran jams, keep a to-do list, check the weather, order pizza, tell guests your Wi-Fi password, and so much more. But as you embrace this chatty-computer future, you begin to see its limitations.Read more
UTTER 160 or so French or English phrases into a phone app developed by CandyVoice, a new Parisian company, and the app’s software will reassemble tiny slices of those sounds to enunciate, in a plausible simulacrum of your own dulcet tones.Read more
When the singularity is reached and our robot servants finally turn on their human masters, future mecha-historians will point with metal fingers to 2017 as the year it all began.Read more
Amazon plans to release new Alexa-powered devices with phone call and intercom functionality, according to Recode citing sources, and an announcement is expected in the coming months.
It’s not clear how many new Echo models Amazon may release, but the device(s) are said to enable users to start phone calls by voice.Read more
We’ll have to wait a little longer for a test case on the legal use of data collected by Amazon’s eavesdropper Echo.
Authorities in Arkansas served a search warrant to obtain the data from an Amazon Echo device in a murder that took place in the state in November 2015.Read more
The Amazon Alexa and Google Home virtual voice assistants have become suddenly popular among consumers wishing to know the weather, to set cooking timers, and to ask facts about the world.
In medicine this capability may be more than a simple convenience, potentially helping to conduct physical exams, helping with documentation and looking up medical records, as well as pacing and directing various medical procedures.Read more
Aldous Huxley claimed that “most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” While Huxley wasn’t writing about voice-assisted devices, his understanding of our propensity to cheerlead new technology without fully acknowledging what we sacrifice perfectly captures the new world of voice interfaces ushered in by Amazon’s Echo and Google Home.Read more