If you're already freaked out by the effects of smart speakers like Amazon's echo, we've got some bad news.
To activate an Alexa-enabled device, you currently only need to say "Alexa" or whatever you want to program the "wake word". According to Amazon, Alexa first sends her recorded voice to the Amazon servers after activating . This invokes an easily formalized method of communicating with your little machine, as you say the name, before you ask anything of it.
For example: "Alexa, why do I have to address you so formally?"
Amazon has introduced changes to Alexa that would allow the AI to record what users say before using the catchword Users do not need to start each command by waking up their robot.
A patent filed by Amazon was released on Thursday Amazon's vision for a "system for detecting and processing portions of a spoken utterance order that may occur before a watch word". BuzzFeed first reported on the patent, which sheds light on Amazon's potential plans for Alexa – plans the company has never sworn to date The patent provides an example of a disadvantage of current technology. If someone says "play some music, Alexa" or "play some music, Alexa, the Beatles, please", Alexa would not play any music as the wake-up word came after the command.
However, if Alexa recognizes a watchword according to the technology described in the patent, it will "look backwards" to see if a command has been issued beforehand and will use pauses in speech to determine the start of the command. This would be possible because it is constantly recorded and supposedly deleted, which is not needed.
As BuzzFeed explains, this concept is similar to Apple's live photos taken a moment before and after pressing the record button.
The patent is concerned with "privacy concerns associated with a constantly-active language processing system". "By making it clear that all recorded speech will not be sent to Amazon's servers."
Gizmodo received the same statement from an Amazon spokesman as from other news channels. " The technology in this patent is not used, and it is very speculative to point out the potential use of patents," states the statement that many of their patent applications "are exploring new scientific ideas that may not Applicable Integration with customer-centric products and patents may not necessarily reflect current or near-term product and service status.
Amazon answered Gizmodo's request to comment on whether Amazon intends to use this technology.
This patent is probably just an attempt to make Alexa a more natural experience for Amazon customers. Amid the reports that Amazon helpers are listening to some Alexa recordings and the company accidentally sends Alexa records to strangers or acquaintances, you can safely say that you should throw your Alexa devices into the sea if you value privacy.