Reuters: Market power of Siri, Alexa, Google a concern, EU regulators say

Reuters: Market power of Siri, Alexa, Google a concern, EU regulators say. “The market dominance of Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Alphabet’s Google Assistant has triggered concerns of potential anti-competitive practices, EU antitrust regulators said on Wednesday. The comments from the European Commission come after a year-long inquiry into voice assistants and other internet-connected devices and responses from more than 200 companies.”

CNN: Alexa, what other devices are listening to me?

CNN: Alexa, what other devices are listening to me?. “Devices with various types of voice technology are also becoming more common. With a simple hands-free utterance, an Amazon- or Google-run personal assistant can stream your favorite Gap Band playlist or find a solid recipe for macaroons. But it also raises concerns about privacy – not just hacking but also how companies protect your data.”

CNET: Google Guacamole will let you use voice assistant without saying ‘Hey, Google,’ report says

CNET: Google Guacamole will let you use voice assistant without saying ‘Hey, Google,’ report says. “Google has reportedly kicked off internal testing for a new feature, called Guacamole, that would allow you to use the voice assistant without saying ‘Hey, Google.’ It would let Google Assistant users perform quick voice tasks like answering calls or turning off alarms and timers without needing to say the trigger words, according to reports Friday from 9to5Google and Android Police.”

New York Times: 5 Ways to Tap Into Your Smartphone’s Audio Powers

New York Times: 5 Ways to Tap Into Your Smartphone’s Audio Powers. “It has been a decade since Apple integrated Siri right into its iPhone software and mainstreamed the voice-activated assistant. But the assistant is just one of the voice-powered tools in your smartphone’s ever-growing audio toolbox. Your device can also be a digital recorder, a dictation machine, a podcast production studio and more. Here’s how to get things done with more talking and less typing.”

Lifehacker: 66 Useful Things to Ask Google Assistant

Lifehacker: 66 Useful Things to Ask Google Assistant. “Google’s voice-activated AI tool — AKA Google Assistant — is getting smarter and more useful with every new update. If it’s been a while since you used it last, you might be surprised by the huge number of tasks it can now help with. Here are 66 useful questions and commands to try today.”

Mashable: Google smart speakers secretly updated to listen for more than wake words

Mashable: Google smart speakers secretly updated to listen for more than wake words. “The company admitted Monday, following a report by Protocol, that it had updated an unspecified number of Google Assistant-enabled devices to respond to auditory cues beyond the user-specified wake phrase. Google told Protocol this was a mistake that was quickly fixed, but did not appear to address the larger privacy concerns that such a mistake signifies. After all, how are users supposed to trust a live microphone in their home if someone can remotely update it to be even more invasive without their knowledge?”

Washington Post: I’ve worn Alexa-enabled glasses for two weeks. They’re driving me bananas.

Washington Post: I’ve worn Alexa-enabled glasses for two weeks. They’re driving me bananas.. “After two weeks with the $180 Echo Frames, I can report that you have to really love Alexa to want to wear it on your face. But the Frames offer a fascinating view of the state of the art in virtual assistants — and perhaps also the state of our dystopia. They’re one of Amazon’s first true ‘hearables’: wearable tech designed for hearing information, rather than seeing it.”

Voicebot: Amazon Launches Alexa Accessibility Hub

Voicebot: Amazon Launches Alexa Accessibility Hub. “Amazon has brought together all of the accessibility features and initiatives for the Alexa voice assistant into a central website. The new Alexa Accessibility Hub demonstrates the ways people with different kinds of disabilities can use Alexa as a helpful tool and the accommodations in place to make using Echo smart speakers and smart displays easier for people with disabilities.”

TechHive: EU launches antitrust probe focusing on Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri

TechHive: EU launches antitrust probe focusing on Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri . “Are voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant stifling competition when they only let you stream music from a single service, or when then send you to a specific shopping site by default? It’s a fair question, and one that European Union regulators are looking to answer as part of a ‘sweeping’ antitrust probe, Bloomberg reports.”