EurekAlert: Do privacy controls lead to more trust in Alexa? Not necessarily, research finds

EurekAlert: Do privacy controls lead to more trust in Alexa? Not necessarily, research finds. “Giving users of smart assistants the option to adjust settings for privacy or content delivery, or both, doesn’t necessarily increase their trust in the platform, according to a team of Penn State researchers. In fact, for some users, it could have an unfavorable effect.”

Electronics Weekly: Build a Google Home with Raspberry Pi

Electronics Weekly: Build a Google Home with Raspberry Pi. “With a minimal amount of hardware and setup, you can create a functioning home assistant linked to your Google account and controlled by voice commands. Follow the steps below to install the Google Assistant SDK on your Raspberry Pi and set it up to listen for voice commands.”

Epicurious: Okay Google, I Love You

Epicurious: Okay Google, I Love You. “At the start of my isolation, I began by giving my Google Home the usual pre-apocalyptic demands while I cooked: Hey Google, play NPR. Hey Google, play Kacey Musgraves. Hey Google, play Who? Weekly podcast. Slowly, delicately, I began to ask for more. I asked Google to remind me of the proper internal temperature for a chicken thigh. I asked Google how to tell if your commercial yeast was still active. I needlessly made the robot tell me the differences between the types of cinnamon just to hear her speak.”

CNET: Alexa and Google Assistant are developing personalities

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

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.”

Tom’s Guide: Google Assistant just gained a feature Alexa can’t match

Tom’s Guide: Google Assistant just gained a feature Alexa can’t match. “Google Assistant is constantly growing its accessibility features, whether it improves its real-time interpreter skills or expands its hand-free capabilities. And starting today, users can ask Google to read web pages aloud to them.”

Northeastern University: Understanding when smart speakers mistakenly record conversations

Northeastern University: Understanding when smart speakers mistakenly record conversations. “Voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, OK Google, Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana are becoming increasingly pervasive in our homes, offices, and public spaces. While convenient, these systems also raise important privacy concerns—namely, what exactly are these systems recording from their surroundings, and does that include sensitive and personal conversations that were never meant to be shared with companies or their contractors? These aren’t just hypothetical concerns from paranoid users: there have been a slew of recent reports about devices constantly recording audio and cloud providers outsourcing to contractors transcription of audio recordings of private and intimate interactions.”