If you own one of those Amazon Echo devices or planning on getting one, get ready to compromise a tad bit of your privacy.
Amazon, Inc. has appointed thousands of people worldwide to listen to voice recordings which the devices capture on a daily basis. Doesn’t matter if precede what you say with “Alexa”, Amazon can know all your daily ramblings and pet peeves. Amazon explains that its intentions are not evil, as if we’d fall for that trap.
Creepy as it sounds, they claim that their end goal is to improve how the “Alexa” software responds to audio feed that primarily includes voice commands. Amazon says “This helps us train our speech recognition and natural language understanding systems, so Alexa can better understand your requests, and ensure the service works well for everyone.”
Employees who have been hired in huge numbers had to sign non-disclosure agreements that prevent them from speaking about their work with Amazon. Essentially, what they do is listen to Alexa’s recordings and analyze how she responds to certain commands.
As per Bloomberg, Amazon employees hear around thousands of random voice recordings per day. These recordings are anything from people singing in the shower and children wailing, shouting out for help. Random voices also include criminal acts and sexual assault.
No matter how novel their ambitions might be, Amazon is silently turning out to be the silent Evil Corp, competing with the likes of Google.