Siri, Cortana, and Alexa: Are They Spying on Us?

SIRI

iPhone’s Siri

Apple’s intelligent personal assistant titled Siri has been instrumental in sparking a new wave of other personal assistants from other notable companies. Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s Assistant have all been on the competitive edge of smart operating systems that help in making our lives a bit simpler. Such assistants use voice queries and analyze language patterns to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions through delegation in Internet services. Assistant’s as of late have been able to order us food, play music, play games with us, and even control other devices connected through similar smart systems.

Although these assistant’s are helpful in our daily activities, they do listen to EVERYTHING we say when active. There is something very uncomfortable about the idea that everything you are saying is being listened to, especially by a robotic device and not an actual person. In addition, the companies that we are allowing to do so are the ones that are making money off of us. Big companies like Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Amazon could potentially be using such as a form of business intelligence which is to learn what their customers desire in a product or service and supply it. This would of course let the companies tap into the minds of consumers and generate products that will inevitable supply them with greater revenue. However, privacy becomes a central issue when devices are continuously listening to everything that goes on.

Some may say that the idea of Big Brother is ingrained in us and that we are being paranoid to believe they are listening to our every word. However, vast amounts of data are constantly being processed through technological devices that are everywhere around us. It is difficult to go anywhere without some device being present in your surroundings. Most devices also save all the data and files it acquires for later use.  There is undoubtedly benefits to these devices such as correcting human error, providing accurate maps for travel, making appointments, looking up information, getting updates, being compatible with other devices, and also being able to call other services amongst many other advantages. Nonetheless, it begs the questions:  Should we sacrifice our privacy, and possibly security, for artificially intelligent systems and their short-lived rewards? My suggestion is to be more cautious when using them!

 

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