Like most of the time during my writing process, the first thing is opening a new Google Docs sheet, in which I create a draft for the next interesting topic to feed into the blog. So, I choose among the technologies with the same care as the letters I am presenting to them, and Google seems to do the same.
As of writing, Google's announcement on Alphabet is still up to date from last week. If it has passed anyone's radar, Alphabet is Google's move towards independence for the more "distant" companies that previously flew under Google's wings. According to Larry Page, CEO of Alphabet, the new facility intends to make the company cleaner, more responsible and streamlined. Alphabet is the parent company that will house a collection of companies ranging from Boston Dynamics to DeepMind (which makes up the B and D of the alphabet), but what caught my attention was the technology behind the letter O.
Enabled via voice recognition technology, Ok Google is voice search and actions to wake your web or mobile apps. Manage your calendar, navigation, entertainment and more by voice, letting Ok Google decrypt. Just go “Ok, Google…”.
"For example, say" Ok Google, I need an umbrella tomorrow "to see if there is rain in the weather forecast."
We can expect Ok Google to start working offline very soon, according to an Android police report. Apparently, the new code in the app clearly refers to the possibility of actions via voice commands without an internet connection. However, the number of strings is very limited to actions such as playing music or sending lyrics.
From Audrey to Siri… And Barbie
Speech recognition technology has been around for a few decades now, but it doesn't age at all. Born in the 1950s with systems like Audrey, speech recognition "took off" in the 1970s, but progress was still pretty… slow (did the system get it?). In the past couple of years, however, things have started to move.
“First question asked to the AI; "Is there a god?" AI first answer; "There is now." "
Google's speech recognition technology now only has an error rate of 8% (compared to 23% in 2013). "Put simply, speech recognition in machines ... will completely change the way humans interact with their computing devices," writes Tim Tuttle, CEO of Expect Labs. Due to the deep speech and virtuous circle of AI, speech recognition is becoming "strangely good," with an 18-month advance being more aggressive than what we have seen in the past 15 years combined. According to Tuttle, computers will start listening to us 24/7, and smart voice interfaces will soon switch to all kinds of apps.
"The virtuous cycle of artificial intelligence - the more it is used, the better it works as it collects more data and more users enter"
The market is testing this newly improved technology in every possible way. Say hello to smart Barbie, a doll with voice recognition that can converse with users, such as children playing with it. This very first interactive doll has understandably raised privacy concerns that personal recordings of children's conversations with the doll are being sent to third-party companies. “The lack of understanding from users and the involvement of children, who are potentially unable to understand that their actions are being monitored,” is a problem that needs to be addressed before this Barbie doll breaks house.
Spicy words to hide?
One of the popular stats thriving on the internet now is that millennials' 83% sleeps with their phone. This is a fun way of saying that people nowadays, and especially the younger generation, constantly carry their beloved devices with them. This underscores the apocalyptic wiretapping phenomenon, which is shifting from the Hollywood screen to the minds of real users. Will God-like systems have access to everything I say and then give the words to their preachers, companies?
Ok Google is trying to get around the privacy problem by simply using “Ok Google” as a hotword. Only then will the technology be activated and the device will start listening to what the user is saying. But it is questionable whether a hotword is secure enough.
S for safety
I am amazed at the great potential offered by voice in machines: from getting weather forecasts smoothly and making cheap calls to people around the world, to authentic conversations with robots. But for voice to truly achieve an intelligent future, it must simultaneously move closer to a secure future.
Today, constantly carrying a digital ear with you creates the feeling of being monitored rather than monitoring technology. In terms of the alphabet, this makes me think that Google should have assigned the S to security.