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Alexa, What’s Going On In My Life Today?

People are starting to integrate digital technology into their lifestyle. Voice activated technology now controls people lives. It hold important and personal piece of information. But, can we fully trust technology to get it right?

The history of voice recognition

In 1952 the “Audrey”, the Automatic Digit Recognition machine, was created as the first voice recognition device. Audrey was created to understand voices and strings of digits. They had to have pauses in each sentence for it to be recognised.

“It could recognise the fundamental units of speech sounds, which are called phonemes.”

It became the foundational idea for what many of the speech recognition devices uses in later years and was ground breaking for its time.

Seri

In terms of Apple, they created Seri in 2011 when technology had become more advance since 1952. Seri’s successes can be linked to many things including the ability to understand speech in context, its witty and catty personality and its ability to access our calendar and contact. People lives evolve around the ability to use Seri as a quick short cut of transferring data. People where fascinated by the way in which Seri had the ability to interact with them in their day to day live.

A Iphone being held in a hand, being requested by seri to set a reminder
Available from https://www.flickr.com/photos/janitors/13989720008

Alexa

Many people we be asking for the Amazon Eco, during the festive period, to be brought to them by Santa. This is a device similar to that of a smart phone which listens out for its commands. All you need to do is
call Alexa by name followed by command or instruction, allowing it to perform different tasks. Alexa is able to turn on music, tell you the weather and even turn on other devices it is linked to. This is similar to the capabilities of Seri.

Staying in the holiday spirt, many families are continuing to use Alexa as a Christmas Countdown. You can ask Alexa “how many sleeps till Christmas”. It will tell you followed by a message from Father Christmas himself updating the children on his preparations for the big day.

To keep the magic of the season alive, this is a very interesting and effective way of utilising voice activated technology.

However

In addition, voice activated technology can also be dangerous in the hands of the wrong people.

BBC and HSBC

Intrusting our personal information to digital devices, in this modern high tech society, has become second nature to many people. Nevertheless, there are some dangers which entails this. A investigation performed by the BBC highlighted the limitation of the security in HSBC security voice recognition in May 2017. The BBC used identical twin brothers to try and access one signal bank account in HSBC via the use of voice recognition. What they concluded, shocked many peoples. This is because it was unable to distinguish one brother to another. It granted assess to both of them. This is one of the faults of entrusting digital technology with personal data.

Google Now

Google now also experienced some vulnerabilities in the voice controlled games, one of which used which sent messages to a third party company. This allows hackers to gin personal information. Once again, this can give them access to your bank account, by naively tricking you into producing answers to security questions.

Big Brother

Is big brother listening into all conversations? There has been reports that advertisers are listening into conversation’s and choosing the correct advertisement based on is said.

The nature of the voice activated devise is to listen to what you are saying. They await their wake word, which is most commonly their name. It should not be surprise that its is always listening. Where does all this useless data of our conversations go? I don’t think that we will ever know.

What Is The Solution?

This voice activated technology has started to become a part of our society and its hard to escape it now. It does have its benefits in aiding the mundane everyday. As technology advances so will hankers. Their determination to get more and more data from the innocent will drive toward voice actived technology. As a result, there should be a more awareness of the disadvantages of this digital technology, so that people can protect themselves and their personal data.

Let me know your thoughts

If you have anything to say or add about this blog post, please comment below or tweet me.

 

 

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