When you talk to Alexa and other voice assistants, you have to phrase your requests by starting with their "wakeword" ("Alexa" "OK Google" "Siri" etc).
This means that if you issue an instruction like "Order me a 55 gallon drum of Clearglide lubricant, Alexa," it will fail and you will have to repeat yourself in the form of "Alexa, order me a 55 gallon drum of Clearglide lubricant."
Amazon has applied for a patent to resolve this problem by the simple (and obvious and thus unpatentable) measure of having Alexa record everything, all the time, and when it hears its wakeword, it can wind back its buffer and figure out what it just missed.
What could possibly go wrong?
"The [proposed] system is configured to capture speech that precedes and/or follows a wakeword," the application explains, "such that the speech associated with the command and wakeword can be included together and considered part of a single utterance that may be processed by a system."
Newly Released Amazon Patent Shows Just How Much Creepier Alexa Can Get [Peter Dockrill/Science Alert]
(Image: Cryteria, CC-BY)
Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle (who also founded the company Alexa, now an Amazon division) ordered a pack of Sharpies from Amazon using the Internet Archive's business account, then, minutes later, ordered another pack using his personal account, both to be delivered to the Internet Archive: the order for the Internet Archive was priced at […]
The latest addition to Amazon's line of always-on, ever-listening, networked, insecure (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) snitchy smart speakers is the new rev of the Echo Dot Kids Edition, whose "kid-friendly" Alexa is like surveillance Barbie without the pretense of being a toy.
Amazon's Ring doorbells are surveillance devices that conduct round-the-clock video surveillance of your neighborhood, automatically flagging "suspicious" faces and bombarding you and your neighbors with alerts using an app called "Neighbors"; it's a marriage of Amazon's Internet of Things platform with its "Rekognition" facial recognition tool, which it has marketed aggressively to cities, law enforcement, […]
So you cut the cord and got rid of cable? Join the steadily growing club. But while you’re out picking a streaming service, you might find one big blind spot: Local TV and sports, not to mention first-run programming from the big cable networks. Luckily, there’s a throwback way to get it for free: The […]
Even if you feel like AirPods are worth the price tag, you’ve got to admit there’s a certain anxiety that comes with using them. What if I lose them? What if they get wet in the rain? Or drenched in sweat? Or fall into the drink you dropped them into? Shiny tech is great, but […]
With the quick-fix appeal of video games and their own cell phones, it can be tough to keep kids focused on supposedly “educational” toys. And while it may seem counter-intuitive to fight tech with more tech, we’re all in when it comes to the Toybox 3D Printer. We’re not sure if anyone had envisioned a […]