CNET: Alexa and Google Assistant are developing personalities. “Google Assistant may be the most naturalistic voice assistant yet, but neither it nor Alexa and Siri are close to achieving the sentience you see in movies like Her. They won’t be your friend, your significant other or (if 2001: A Space Odyssey is more your bag) your mortal enemy. But your relationships with them could have further reaching consequences than you think.”
Wirecutter: How I Use Alexa to Dunk on My Kids. “I will stoop as low as it takes to fool and delight them, and Alexa has all the built-in tools I need. Should you want to fight back and own your kids like a boss, you need to check out Alexa Routines—little customizable commands you can create that tell Alexa to say or do pretty much whatever you want.”
Becker’s Hospital Review: Amazon, First Databank partner to let Alexa answer drug-related questions. “Amazon has partnered with First Databank — a database of drug and medical device information — to allow Amazon Alexa users to ask questions about drug information, such as drug interactions and side effects.”
The Next Web: MIT researchers developed a text-based system that tricks Google’s AI. “Now, researchers at Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), MIT, have developed a new system called TextFooler that can trick AI models that use natural language processing (NLP) — like the ones used by Siri and Alexa. This is important to catch spam or respond to offensive language.”
UMass Boston: Hey, Google? Alexa? Am I At Risk for Alzheimer’s?: UMass Boston Professor Part of $1.1M Research Project. “Assistant Professor of Computer Science Xiaohui Liang is leading a four-year $1,179,714 National Institute on Aging (NIA)-funded research project to use Voice Assistant Systems, such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, to detect early cognitive impairment. Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in older adults living alone is essential for developing, planning, and ensuring adequate support at home for patients and their families.”
Smashing Magazine: Creating Voice Skills For Google Assistant And Amazon Alexa. “Voice assistants are hopping out of emerging tech and into everyday life. As a front end developer, you already have the skills to build one, so let’s dive into the platforms.” This is a giant technical dive and definitely not for beginners.
New Jersey Department of Transportation: NJDOT Announces Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant features for 511NJ Traveler Information Program . (This link is to a PDF file.) “- New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti today announced that NJDOT is the first department in the country to provide hands-free, real-time, statewide, traffic and traveler information using both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant devices.”