I live in the curious intersection of art, design, and code. For the past two years, I’ve worked with a small group of artists to develop Alexa, Call Mom!, an immersive storytelling installation using Amazon’s Alexa platform. Our project is far from the type of third-party apps you typically see for Amazon’s voice assistant — “Alexa, Play Jeopardy!” and “Alexa, Ask Pikachu to Talk” are two popular examples — as it invites users to engage with Alexa in a way that’s just a bit… off.
Alexa, Call Mom! leads participants through an immersive séance experience. It is a parodic reimaging…
Welcome to General Intelligence, your weekly dive into the A.I. news and research that matters.
The Covid-19 pandemic is all-encompassing. Artificial intelligence researchers are adapting algorithms to detect Covid-19 in CT scans, determining mortality from available data, and even analyzing cough audio — you can read about this in last week’s installment of General Intelligence.
This week, we’re turning our attention to developments outside of the pandemic. First, one of the most important law enforcement technology companies in the United States, Axon, just poached a new head of artificial intelligence from Amazon.
Yasser Ibrahim, Axon’s new A.I. head, led Amazon’s…
When my partner asked for an Alexa device for Christmas, I refused to buy him one. I explained that while I ordinarily would welcome suggestions of what to get him, this year I would be ignoring his less-than-subtle hints about smart speakers, and he should brace himself for something else on his wishlist instead.
Having discussed the treasure trove that is our personal data when we watched the Netflix documentary The Great Hack together last year, I was surprised that he would even consider welcoming into our shared home yet another way for technology companies to monetize our personal information.
At its Seattle event last week, Amazon unveiled more than just an ambush of Echo devices. It also unveiled a new strategy.
While the company has been aggressively pushing Alexa into the homes of its customers for years in a bid to make it the smart assistant of choice, it now wants to put Alexa everywhere.
This is a departure from Amazon’s first Echo strategy, which was to make the devices so cheap that they were easy to buy, even if they weren’t all that appealing. Dave Limp, a senior vice president at Amazon, once told CNBC, “We try to…
We’ve all heard stories about Alexa mysteriously answering a question you didn’t ask, or turning on the music randomly without anyone in the room saying anything.
Amazon insists that there’s always a perfectly reasonable explanation — and it’s soon giving Alexa the ability to state it.
Starting later this fall, you’ll be able to ask an Alexa device, “Why did you do that?” and it will offer you some sort of reasoning for why it took a certain action.
Amazon spent the first few minutes of a wild product launch event Wednesday making it clear that it has heard users’ privacy concerns, and it’s listening — very closely. It spent the rest of the time introducing a dozen new ways to track, surveil, and yes, listen to people, not only in their kitchens or living rooms but everywhere they go. It can even keep tabs on your dog.
By the end of the event, the privacy features felt like a distant memory.
Two weeks after Apple bored the tech world with its most tepid hardware launch event in memory…
A wide range of new phones were shown off at Mobile World Congress last month. At one end of the scale, Samsung introduced three variations of its premium Galaxy S10, though many of the headlines went to another new model, the Galaxy Fold, with its innovative folding screen — and almost $2,000 price tag.
But for a large portion of the developing world, the most important announcements came from companies like LG, Nokia, and Orange. LG announced the K40, K50, and Q60 and Nokia revealed the 3.2 and 4.2 model phones, all mid-to-entry level Android smartphones, which will sell for…
The undercurrents of the future. A publication from Medium about technology and people.