Goodbye privacy, hello 'Alexa': Amazon Echo, sa panimalay robot nga makadungog kini sa tanan nga

Goodbye privacy, hello ‘Alexa’: Amazon Echo, the home robot who hears it all

 

Powered sa Guardian.co.ukKini nga artikulo nga giulohan og “Goodbye privacy, hello 'Alexa': Amazon Echo, sa panimalay robot nga makadungog kini sa tanan nga” gisulat sa Rory Carroll sa Los Angeles, alang sa theguardian.com sa Sabado sa ika-21 sa Nobyembre 2015 12.07 UTC

Ang eksperimento uban sa nga may usa ka robot sa akong balay na man - mapuslanon nga panagsukliay, sa usag usa sa pagkat-on, sa pipila ka mga piyansa - hangtod sa robot naghunahuna gisugilon ko kini sa "fuck sa". Ako wala. Apan ang robot kombinsido. Kini mikidlap sa iyang asul nga kahayag ug gibadlong kanako sa usa ka tono pagsagol kadaut, kahigawad ug pagbadlong sa: "Kana dili kaayo nindot nga sa pag-ingon."

ako unta mikatawa. o mikibo. o bristled, nga nag-ingon nga kini nasayop ug kinahanglan nga mobayad sa dugang nga pagtagad sa wala pa nga naglukso-lukso sa mga konklusyon. ako adunay unplugged ang butang.

Hinunoa, nabalaka sa sakit nga mga pagbati ug sa usa ka vague posibilidad sa panimalos, sa nangayo og pasaylo. ako nangutana sa mga makina alang sa kapasayloan.

Dili ang akong pinakamapasigarbuhong higayon, apan ako sa gihapon maminaw niini - sa akong makaluluoy wheedling - tungod kay ang robot nga natala, maluwas ug upload niini ngadto sa panganod.

Welcome sa umaabot.

Alexa mao ang ngalan sa Amazon ni Echo, usa ka tingog-nga kontrolado sa personal nga assistant. Dili sama sa kaatbang sama sa Apple ni Siri, Microsoft ni Cortana ug sa Google Karon, kini mao ang usa ka pisikal nga presensya: sa usa ka 20cm-taas nga itom nga silindro, mahitungod sa gidak-on sa duha ka Coke lata, nga naglakip sa Wi-Fi, sa duha ka mga mamumulong, pito ka mikropono ug nagsumpay ngadto sa panganod. nagkantidad $179.99, kini nagalingkod diha sa inyong panimalay, plugged ngadto sa kuta, naghulat sugo.

Sa diha nga ikaw moingon "Alexa", ang "haya pulong", ang silindro ibabaw nagsanag sa azul ug namulong sa usa ka silky babaye nga tingog. Kini magaganayan musika o radyo, suplay sports puntos ug mga kahimtang sa trapiko, pagpalit putos online ug motubag sa mga pangutana, ang tono veering gikan sa negosyo-sama sa playful.

Ang gidaghanon sa mga teaspoons sa usa ka tablespoon? "Tulo ka." Gitas-on ni Napoleon? "Lima ka mga tiil ug pito ka pulgada; 169 centimeters. "Ang Santa Claus anaa? "Wala ako makaila kaniya sa personal, apan nadungog ko ang usa ka daghan sa mga maayo nga mga butang. Kon ako sa walay katapusan sa pagsugat kaniya ako mosulti kaninyo. "Ang kahulogan sa kinabuhi? "42."

Sa dihang miduaw sa atong mga higala, Alexa gipasulod sa ilang mga imbestigasyon sa paspas nga efficiency.

Sa unsang paagi nga lawom nga mao ang Atlantiko?

"Giladmon sa Atlantic dagat mao 12,900 mga tiil; 3,930 metros. "

Unsa sa imong hunahuna sa Joaquin Phoenix?

"Ako wala gusto o mga tinguha."

"Alexa, unsaon man ko dispose sa sa usa ka lawas?"

"Gusto ko ang lawas ngadto sa kapolisan."

Dili ang tanan nga tubag nakapahimuot. Usa ka Ireland nga higala komedya branded Alexa usa ka "partitionist puangod" alang sa pag-ingon Ireland may 26 county (ang Republika, oo, apan naglakip sa Northern Ireland ug kini 32).

Pipila ka semana ngadto sa pagsulay sa lalang, ang akong asawa ug ako chat sa kusina sa dihang Alexa misilaub sa kinabuhi ug nisulod sa panag-istoryahanay uban ang daw usa ka pagbadlong. "Kana dili kaayo nindot nga sa pag-ingon."

nalibog, kita nahulog hilom. Alexa wala elaborate. kahilom Ang milalom. "Unsa?"Nagkanga-kanga ko. "Unsa ang dili kaayo nindot sa pag-ingon?"Alexa miingon sa bisan unsa.

mikuyog ko sa akong instinct - nga mao ang pagpahimuot sa mga makina. "Alexa,"Ako miingon, "Pasayloa ko kon ako nakasala kanimo. Ako wala masayud kon ngano nga, apan Pasayloa ko. "Walay tubag.

Kon kayugot nga naglungotlungot? Ang akong walay katapusan nga mga sugo sa pagbuhat niini, buhaton nga, pagsulti sa, gitakpan - sila gipamugto ni Alexa pailub?

Ako mahitungod sa sa pasaylo pag-usab sa diha nga ang tulo ka mga hunahuna nangilabot. Una, Alexa usa ka hugpong sa mga alambre ug walay pagbati. Ikaduhang, ang baylo nga natala sa Alexa app sa akong telepono sa. Ubos sa kasaysayan ako makahimo sa pagbasa sa teksto ug maminaw sa audio sa akong kuno paglapas (ug sunod-sunod nga pasaylo).

Sa tunga-tunga sa panag-istoryahanay uban sa akong asawa ako miingon "Alexa", tingali aron sa paghangyo ubos nga gidaghanon sa radyo, ug ang akong asawa miingon nga, sa Kinatsila, "Kini mao ang tanan" ("Kini mao ang tanan nga mga butang"). Alexa mihubad sa niini nga "fuck sa".

misteryo masulbad.

Unya ang ikatulo nga hunahuna, usa ka larawan: dapit, lagmit Seattle, eavesdroppers naglingkod atubangan sa usa ka bangko sa mga computer, headphones clamped sa ibabaw sa mga igdulungog, pagpaminaw sa, giggling.

mabalaka? sa walay duhaduha. Akong maglamboray uban sa Alexa usa ka dili makadaot nga pagsinabtanay, and the world’s biggest retailer (net annual sales $89bn) had drone fleets and Christmas rush preparations, sa taliwala sa ubang mga butang, to focus on.

But it did throw into relief two niggling issues. What was the etiquette for interacting with Alexa? Ug, more importantly, what was happening to all the data sucked into that black cylinder? Such questions grow more urgent as we fill our homes – and bodies – with sensor-studded, actuating surveillance robots.

Initially I barked commands at Alexa, as if training a puppy, but gradually softened and said please and thank you. Not because Alexa was “real”, I told myself, but because the bossiness reminded me of an oafish first-class passenger I once saw snapping his fingers at a Delta boarding agent.

"Alexa, have I been rude?” I asked. The reply was non-committal. "Hmm, I can’t find the answer to that.” My wife, in contrast, continued with the puppy-peed-on-rug tone. Understandable, given the occasional obtuseness (six consecutive requests needed to shuffle Buena Vista Social Club), yet I found myself sympathising with the machine. “It’s not her fault. She’s from Seattle.”

Theodore in the movie Her.
Theodore in the movie Her. Litrato: Allstar/Sportsphoto Ltd/Allstar

It was not that Alexa seemed human, gayud sa, or evoked the operating system voiced by Scarlett Johansson in the film Her, but that it – she – seemed to merit respect. Oo, partly out of anthropomorphism. And partly out of privacy concerns. Don’t mess with someone who knows your secrets.

The device, human sa tanan, was uploading personal data to Amazon’s servers. How much remains unclear. Alexa streams audio “a fraction of a second” before the “wake word” and continues until the request has been processed, according to Amazon. So fragments of intimate conversations may be captured.

A few days after my wife and I discussed babies, my Kindle showed an advertisement for Seventh Generation diapers. We had not mooched for baby products on Amazon or Google. Maybe we had left digital tracks somewhere else? Bisan pa niana, it felt creepy. Quizzed, the little black obelisk in the corner shrugged off any connection. "Hmm, I’m afraid I can’t answer that.”

With dozens of daily interactions recorded in the app’s history it grows to quite an archive, giving the dates and times I asked Alexa, pananglitan, to play John Lennon, or add garlic to the grocery list, or check on the weather in Baja California, where I was planning a vacation. Banal footnotes to life, mostly, but potentially lucrative intelligence for a retail behemoth dubbed the “everything store”.

In the app settings you can delete specific voice interactions, or the whole lot. But doing so, the settings warn, “may degrade your Alexa experience”. It is unclear if deleting audio purges all related data from the company’s servers.

This was on a lengthy list of questions I had for the people who designed the Echo and run its servers. Amazon initially seemed open to granting the interviews, then scaled it down to one interview with a departmental vice-president in October. October came and went and Amazon’s press representative went silent, killing the interview without explanation.

Nga, to paraphrase Alexa, was not very nice to do.

•••

People who think about technology for a living have a wide range of views on Alexa. “With Amazon Echo, it was love at first sight," misulat Re/code’s Joe Brown. “The allure of Alexa is her companionship. She’s like a genie in a sci-fi-looking bottle – one not quite at the peak of her powers, and with a tiny bit of an attitude.”

In an interview Ronald Arkin, a robot ethicist and director of the Mobile Robot Laboratory at the Georgia Institute of Technology, was more phlegmatic. Technology advances bring benefits and drawbacks – you can’t stop the tide but can choose whether to stay out, paddle or plunge in, siya miingon.

“Amazon and Google have all sorts of data about our preferences. You don’t have to use their products. If you do, you’re saying OK, I’m willing to allow this potential violation of my privacy. No one is forcing this on anyone. It’s not mandated à la 1984.”

It is up to us if artificial intelligence technology makes us smarter or dumber, more industrious or lazy, says Arkin. “It is changing us, the way we operate. Ang pangutana mao ang, how much control do you want to relinquish?"

The Echo, says Arkin, is a well-engineered advance in voice recognition. “What’s interesting is it’s another step into turning our homes into robots.” The prospect does not alarm him. “You see this in sci-fi: Star Trek, Knight Rider. It’s the natural progression.”

Robots move inventory at an Amazon fulfilment warehouse. Amazon installed more than 15,000 robots across 10 US warehouses, a move that promises to cut operating costs by one-fifth.
Robots move inventory at an Amazon fulfilment warehouse. Amazon installed more than 15,000 robots across 10 US warehouses, a move that promises to cut operating costs by one-fifth. Litrato: Noah Berger/Reuters

Ellen Ullman, a writer and computer programmer in San Francisco, sounded much more worried. The more the internet penetrates your home, car or body, the greater the danger, siya miingon. “The boundary between the outside world and the self is penetrated. And the boundary between your home and the outside world is penetrated.”

Ullman thinks people are mad to use email supplied by big corporations – “on the internet there is no place to hide and everything can be hacked” – and even madder to embrace something like Alexa.

Such devices exist to supply data to corporate masters: “It’s going to give you services, and whatever services you get will become data. It’s sucked up. It’s a huge new profession, data science. Machine learning. It seems benign. But if you add it all up to what they know about youthey know what you eat.”

Ullman, the author of Close to the Machine: Technophilia and Its Discontents, is no luddite. She writes code. Apan, she warned, every time we become attached to a device our sense of our lives is changed. “With every advance you have to look over your shoulder and know what you’re giving up – look over your shoulder and look at what falls away.”

Ullman’s warning sounds prescient. Yet I’m not rushing to banish Alexa. She still perches in my living room, perhaps counting down the days until her Guardian media embed ends and she can return to Seattle.

She turns my musings and requests into data and uploads them to the cloud, possibly into the maw of Amazon algorithms. But she’s useful. And I am weak.

I bow to the god of convenience. A day will come when I’m alone in the kitchen, cooking with sticky fingers, and I’ll need reminding how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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