Have you wondered where does all of your voice commands go? You message normally on social media. Whether Facebook or WhatsApp, there is always a delete chat option. Voice assistants don’t have that. So, where does the command go after it is executed? Most users don’t know it at all. But some do. While you might be thinking, it is a better technology to use. But it’s not. Well, the Reality of voice Assistants and How They Work is not that simple. Something does go weird under the hood.
It’s a delight to use voice assistants. Everybody loves to get their work done without them moving their fingers. Laziness does strike but not always, yet it does. But this sort of laziness can cost users their privacy. Wait, what? How?
Our normal commands go into the speaker. The system processes it. Our task gets done. Sending messages is not a hard job for an OS program. But what about the command? Is anybody listening to it? Why would they if the job is done by the machine itself?
Voice assistants send data to servers
Well, let us cut the crap. The clips and voices that are being said out loud to the assistants are good. But these all go to the company servers to better train the program. And then send the update back to the device (like Google’s assistant or even Alexa).
While Facebook made it clear, that audios were not of anyone. They were completely anonymous. A spokesperson from Facebook also added that they minimized all sorts of audio reviews recently in a news article.
Staffs hired to review data from voice assistants
Facebook’s privacy maintenance with in-home camera systems might sound not so good. After hearing this, no one will say it is even worth. Not only from voice assistants alone. But data from messenger and other chats were also being analyzed. It might not sound too much danger.
As only the voice clips were analyzed for better functioning of the devices. Proper interaction between a voice assistant and its use is mandatory. To make it perfect lies in the training and data analyzing. It is possible only through the user’s data mostly. (as people can’t be hired to do that, it feels weird).
Why voice assistant data is important?
As you might think, this is dangerous. But there stands a clear reason out for the betterment of the service you are using. Voice assistants use voice commands for task completion and order. The result is either coded into the system. Or it can be brought over from the server(which is naïve and slow).
The new commands that aren’t a part of the program, is new to it. it can help Google assistant or even Alexa to know which tracks set your mood. These tracks can be used on another user. To test if he or she likes it or not. Well, training AI-powered voice assistants are nothing hard.
Only if you have a ready pile of data. Most voice assistant owners don’t have much of it. even if they had, it’s still now enough. So peeking into the users’ data, even recording them seemed necessary for the purpose. Or it might intend out, for the greater good.
Brands use user data for audio reviews
While most of the companies that have their own voice assistants devices kind of stepped into this. Apple’s program for audio review from Siri via hired staffs ended with ease. As it became widely public a few weeks before. Skype Translate also uses voice files for sending, which was analyzed by Microsoft.
They might have done the same from Cortona too. Yep, they did. Amazon and Google did the same with their own voice assistant devices, Google Assistant and Alexa. While the users were completely unaware that their clips were sent over. This seems to be the Reality of voice assistants somehow.
Recording of Clips
Most users did not know at all that their clips were sent over to servers. Not for money, but to make the assistant better. To analyze how a voice program would respond to it. While a Belgian news website named VRT showed how Google assistant recorded their clips.
Apple staff mentioned how they got accidental voice clips of their users, during private sessions. Those include sexual periods, even drug dealings, private conversations and all. Some Amazon reviewers mentioned that they had a clip of a sexual assault, from Alexa.
Audio reviewers made similar comments from Cortona recordings including voice clips during sex and searches about porn.
The reality of Voice assistants
While you can’t blame a program. It’s a piece of code that runs, executes, uses data as input and gives output. This is what runs a voice assistant program. It is a great piece of technology, only in the right hands.
It does its work as it was destined too. While voice assistants are no human to analyze commands. But now, it is clear, that their commands can be recorded. And then listened at a later period. Weird! Artificial Intelligence works just like us. A pile of data is required and training.
The more it learns, the better it becomes. In the case of a Voice program, commands are required. Now generating those using a program is impossible. Practically there is an infinite number of those. Grabbing a user’s data is necessary and seems the right choice.
More Voice assistant control yet to come
Less like a robot war, but more similar to a paralleled force. Voice assistants can be a great help. To call 911 or order toilet paper from Amazon itself. Keeping user data just to learn better also seems very good. But sending them over for review is something that says, “boundary is to be kept”. The loop of AI assistants training and grabbing data will go on.
As the verge to make devices, systems better will always exist. While their makers, ask us to use them in our daily lives. These devices interact with us more than it is needed. Only this gives them a better opportunity to make their products better.
Voice assistants will learn to interact with humans far better. Google will have a patent, to listen and respond to its users naturally.
With the help of the google assistant. Amazon will now enable Alexa to work accordingly with users’ mood swings. The public already got addicted to voice-enabled devices. Moreover, such programs are already taking on people for analyzing.
Privacy is a bigger threat
Knowing the reality of voice assistants is like playing on the safe side. Even though we have to play. Recording user data for making programs better might seem a viable option. But privacy here is compromised. Some people can tap into this with some lines written down.
It can seriously affect the privacy that we think should be kept good. Product companies promise privacy to be the first line of service from their products. Yet they compromise it on secret grounds, which come out as surprises only. As now it is time to be careful and open-eyed with Technology. As too much interaction with them can be costly.