Alexa is a virtual assistant launched by Amazon and developed by an Indian innovator Rohit Prasad.
Besides the features programmed in the first version of Alexa, hundreds of other developers completed it with additional skills and made it compatible with a wide array of devices and software. As the technology behind this amazing invention continues to advance, more and more people are choosing to implement it as a part of their daily lives.
Besides general commands such as weather report and to-do lists, there are many other things you could do with Alexa. Some of them are media commands that allow you to play music and audio books, as well as convenient calling and messaging commands. These skills are still just a small part of everything Alexa is capable of doing.
The primary way to give Alexa voice commands is through a smart device called Amazon Echo. Several lines of these devices were released in the past few years, each of them having thousands of customer reviews on Amazon. Customer testimonials are mainly positive and testify on how this device simplified their daily tasks. Additionally, many people struggling with a physical disability reported that voice commands allowed them access to some things they couldn’t even imagine doing on their own before. All things considered, Alexa and Amazon Echo mainly had a positive reception, and are talked about more than any other IT innovation in the past several years.
However, like with many other IT innovations, there is another side to Alexa. As Amazon Echo devices basically have uninterrupted access to everything said in the home of its owner, this technology raised some privacy concerns. Not only does it record all personal conversations, but it is also available to recognize who is present at home at each moment. Although Amazon confronts these concerns by stating that their devices only stream recordings when a command word is uttered, they don’t deny that they can record non-stoppingly while awaiting the command.
On the bright side, you can always erase your recordings in Amazon Echo. By deleting them, your user experience might be less personalized, but you won’t have to worry about any privacy issues. Many people go for this option, while others are comforted by the fact that Amazon is transparent about who has access to their information. That are namely government agencies as well as law enforcement offices. However, Amazon doesn’t give up their information very easily, and it has refused to disclose personal information to police in the past.
Another privacy issue is related to the usage of location-based information. Alexa uses this information to develop an exceptional mapping experience as well as give the best recommendation for nearby stores or restaurants. To some people, this is a personal information breach, while others are aware that nearly any device and app they own has an access to their location. Although this may not be an appealing idea, it does provide a certain level of safety if an unwanted event ever happens to occur.
Regardless of these few privacy questions, most people don’t give too much attention to them. The main reason is that people not involved in any crime related actions, truly have nothing to be afraid of. All the information on this subject can be found on the Amazon Privacy Notice, and if you opt for Alexa and Amazon Echo, you won’t sign up on anything that is not transparently disclosed.
None of these concerns affected the reputation and reception of Alexa and Amazon Echo to any notable extent. The fact that these technologies are by far the most helpful invention for a large mass of people in the past few years is unquestionable.