Amazon workers listen to Alexa conversations


To all those, tens of millions of people using Alexa here’s a security alert which you need to take note of on an immediate note. Web Giant Amazon has admitted yesterday that it allows its workers to listen to the conversations of Alexa in order to improve the services of its virtual assistant.

But those concerned about data privacy argue that the conversations include intimate recordings of Alexa which aren’t meant to be disclosed to the world.

As per the details obtained by Cybersecurity Insiders, the web giant is allowing a certain section of its users to listen to the private and sometimes perturbing voice recordings of Alexa users in order to make the Alexa servers understand human speech in a more adept way.

 As per those who are aware of the developments as many as 1000 clips are reviewed by Amazon workers located around the world. Means they are allowed to review the recordings made with or without the permission of Alexa + echo users.

Amazon says that it is doing this to benefit its users and the society in the long term. Like, for instance, it will keep a tab on recordings such as child screaming before the Amazon’s virtual assistant and will try to take the help of its workers to differentiate the sound between Child S#^ual abuse or regular tantrums.

Hence, all these surprising revelations raise ethical questions like how safe are AI smart assistants in the home and their dependability when it comes to privacy.

All these days only Apple and Google were in news for eavesdropping on those using SIRI and Assistant. Now, with the latest revelation of Amazon, even its Alexa has hit the headlines for all wrong reasons.

Reacting to the data privacy concerns Amazon says that its workers are allowed to review recordings to improve Alexa services.

It specifically mentioned in its statement that a special team has been allowed to listen to the recordings captured by echo owners from their homes and offices. Then they answers are transcribed, annotated and then fed back into the AI software to obviate gaps in Alexa’s understanding of human speech and respond to human commands in a better way.

Note- The difference between Echo and Alexa is that the latter in a virtual software while the former is in the form of a small speaker loaded with the virtual assistant software.

Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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