Amazon recently held an event focused around their Amazon Alexa voice assistant. Prior to now, Alexa was commenly found in their speakers, alarm clocks, and kitchen screens. They have now made it clear that they want Alexa to be available in helping all aspects of your life, announcing devices including:
- An Alexa Powered Microwave that can start warming food with a simple "Alexa ... cook for 1 minute."
- An Alexa Powered Car Speaker that brings your voice assistant on the road to be ready to answer any questions you have, whether regarding your calender or the current news.
- An Alexa Security System, a new feature that uses the fact that your Alexa Speaker is always listening to listen for the sounds of broken glass or smoke alarms at all times and notifies you of any irregularities.
As cool as this all sounds, my question relates to the line between cutting edge technology and the privacy of the customer. With not one mention of privacy at this event, Amazon seems to think that either we don't care ot won't notice that they are taking no shame into the idea of "always listening."
Some questions to consider:
What implications could this have in crime cases?
What should Amazon be allowed to do with all of this data; what should the boundaries be?
Do you support Amazon's atetmpt to be part of our everyday lives like this?
How can we implement safeguards to other potential problems this technology may cause in the future?
Is convienence and AI advancement worth the tradeoff of privacy?