PARIS, FRANCE – SEP 28, 2018- Directly above view of New Amazon Cardboard box against yellow … [+]
According to leaked documents that went to The Intercept, Amazon’s Ring network was planning to create an Orwellian facial recognition database that would alert users to undesirable or ‘suspicious’ individuals that was recognised by the system. Another look at how technologies that are maturing can be utilised and why oversight is desperately needed and why whistleblowing will likely remain Amazon’s biggest weakness until things improve.
The planning materials envision a seamless system whereby a Ring owner would be automatically alerted when an individual deemed “suspicious” was captured in their camera’s frame, something described as a “suspicious activity prompt.” It’s unclear who would have access to these neighborhood watch lists, if implemented, or how exactly they would be compiled, but the documents refer repeatedly to law enforcement, and Ring has forged partnerships with police departments throughout the U.S., raising the possibility that the lists could be used to aid local authorities. The documents indicate that the lists would be available in Ring’s Neighbors app, through which Ring camera owners discuss potential porch and garage security threats with others nearby.
Alexa will soon be able to sound excited or disappointed with you in response to queries. Potentially the ultimate nudge device, Alexa has now got the ability to sound excited or disappointed and Developers are salivating at the chance to utilise it based on those spoken with this week. Bloomberg has more details.
Amazon.com Inc. is trying to break Alexa away from its robotic monotone, giving developers tools to make the software sound excited or disappointed. The company rolled out that capability Tuesday in an update to its market-leading home voice assistant, offering a range of options that take Alexa from quite excited to downright morose. The company said the tool may be useful in congratulating users on trivia wins, or consoling them on a sports team’s loss. The default Alexa voice generated by Amazon’s text-to-speech software has been a sore spot for some software developers who build skills, as Amazon calls Alexa applications, but had hoped for it to be more engaging and customizable.
Amazon suffered a massive amount of backlash over condition this week as Black Friday and Cyber Monday roll on regardless. A New York Post op-ed depicts a rough picture of working conditions. As more eyes and pressure turn to Amazon, articles like this (as well as more public stunts, events) could begin to affect stock price according to analysts. The report describes Amazon treating its robotic units better than human workers:
I used to try and hold it in until a break. We got two 15-minute breaks sandwiched between 30 minutes for lunch. One time I couldn’t hold it in anymore and left five minutes early — so they cut five minutes off one of my other breaks. I was like, “Seriously?” As for my 30-minute lunch? It took me 15 minutes just to walk to the lunch room. I had just enough time to shove half a peanut butter sandwich in my mouth, take a couple of gulps of soda, have a cigarette and then start the 18-football-field trek back. There were no chairs at your work space. The only place to sit was in the bathroom, which was a seven-minute walk from my third-floor station, or the impossibly far lunch room.