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.”

Make Tech Easier: Here’s a Bunch of Funny Things to Ask Siri

For a given value of useful, but it’s Saturday, so.. Make Tech Easier: Here’s a Bunch of Funny Things to Ask Siri. “Siri is an extremely useful AI assistant, helping you in day-to-day tasks like making a calendar appointment or finding your iPhone. But there are plenty of other more whimsical uses for Siri too. This is especially true when it comes to kids, though adults will also enjoy the pile of nonsense questions you can throw at Siri. So we’ve gathered together a whole bunch of funny things to ask Siri when you’re bored and looking for a quick fix of fun. Some are kid-friendly, others aren’t. We’ll let you be the judge!”

Uncovered: 1,000 phrases that incorrectly trigger Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant (Ars Technica)

Ars Technica: Uncovered: 1,000 phrases that incorrectly trigger Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. “As Alexa, Google Home, Siri, and other voice assistants have become fixtures in millions of homes, privacy advocates have grown concerned that their near-constant listening to nearby conversations could pose more risk than benefit to users. New research suggests the privacy threat may be greater than previously thought.”

The Verge: ‘Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over’ shortcut makes it easy to record police

The Verge: ‘Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over’ shortcut makes it easy to record police. “As protests against racial police violence have spread across the US, we’ve seen how video captured on mobile devices can help identify misconduct by law enforcement. But such evidence isn’t just useful at a protest, but during all sorts of routine interactions with the police, including traffic stops. That’s why the Siri shortcut ‘I’m getting pulled over’ exists.”

CNBC: Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Google Assistant have been updated to express support for Black Lives Matter

CNBC: Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Google Assistant have been updated to express support for Black Lives Matter. “Apple, Amazon and Google recently updated their smart voice assistants. They now explain the Black Lives Matter movement when asked ‘Do black lives matter?’ and also provide updated responses to ‘Do all lives matter?’ “

TechCrunch: Siri will now answer your election questions

TechCrunch: Siri will now answer your election questions. SIRI, WHEN WILL THIS ENDLESS NIGHTMARE BE OVER? “Apple’s built-in voice assistant won’t help you figure out who to vote for, but it will be able to update you on different races around the U.S. during election season as well as deliver live results as votes are counted. The new feature, announced today, is part of Apple News’ 2020 election coverage, which also includes a series of curated news, resources, and data from a variety of sources, with the goal of serving users on both sides of the political spectrum.”

The Next Web: MIT researchers developed a text-based system that tricks Google’s AI

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.”

Search Engine Journal: Study Finds Virtual Assistants Are Getting Worse at Answering Questions Correctly

Search Engine Journal: Study Finds Virtual Assistants Are Getting Worse at Answering Questions Correctly . “A new study suggests the performance of virtual assistants, like Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri, may have plateaued. Perficient Digital released its annual evaluation of virtual assistants. Perhaps the most interesting finding is that none of the top virtual assistants are improving when it comes to answering questions accurately.”

Wired: How to Keep Your Smart Assistant Voice Recordings Private

Wired: How to Keep Your Smart Assistant Voice Recordings Private. “Even if Siri isn’t your smart assistant of choice, it’s still a good time to take stock of how you have things set up on whatever platform you use. Each service has its own mix of options and controls. Here’s how to take the human element out of Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and Cortana. Once that’s done, tell a friend to do the same.”

The Guardian: Apple made Siri deflect questions on feminism, leaked papers reveal

The Guardian: Apple made Siri deflect questions on feminism, leaked papers reveal. “An internal project to rewrite how Apple’s Siri voice assistant handles ‘sensitive topics’ such as feminism and the #MeToo movement advised developers to respond in one of three ways: ‘don’t engage’, ‘deflect’ and finally ‘inform’. The project saw Siri’s responses explicitly rewritten to ensure that the service would say it was in favour of ‘equality’, but never say the word feminism – even when asked direct questions about the topic.”

CNN: Apple has stopped letting contractors listen to Siri voice recordings

CNN: Apple has stopped letting contractors listen to Siri voice recordings. “Apple has temporarily stopped a practice that allowed contractors to listen to user commands given to its voice assistant Siri. The tech company also said it’s conducting a review of the program after news reports raised concerns about the scope of recordings that contractors were listening to.”

The Guardian: Apple contractors ‘regularly hear confidential details’ on Siri recordings

The Guardian: Apple contractors ‘regularly hear confidential details’ on Siri recordings. “Apple contractors regularly hear confidential medical information, drug deals, and recordings of couples having sex, as part of their job providing quality control, or ‘grading’, the company’s Siri voice assistant, the Guardian has learned.”

New York Times: Stanford Team Aims at Alexa and Siri With a Privacy-Minded Alternative

New York Times: Stanford Team Aims at Alexa and Siri With a Privacy-Minded Alternative. “It has been almost two decades since Google started to dominate internet search the way Microsoft dominated software for personal computers a generation earlier. Now computer scientists at Stanford University are warning about the consequences of a race to control what they believe will be the next key consumer technology market — virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant.”

CNET: Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri will get smarter this year. Here’s how.

CNET: Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri will get smarter this year. Here’s how.. “Google I/O, the tech giant’s annual developer conference took place in May and there was a lot of smart home news. Apple’s own yearly conference, WWDC, just happened too. And Amazon’s re:MARS conference is currently underway. That makes this a particularly busy time for smart home announcements, particularly related to Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri. Let’s explore the most recent changes to get a better sense of each assistant’s strengths, as well as where they need the most work — and what we hope to see in the future.”

Slashgear: Google Assistant was the smartest AI in 2018, but others are catching up

Slashgear: Google Assistant was the smartest AI in 2018, but others are catching up. “Loup Ventures has published its annual smart speaker IQ test results, revealing how the four big personal assistant AIs performed when asked 800 questions each. Compared to the previous year, three products saw the biggest gain in IQ points and were able to answer a substantially higher percentage of questions versus 2017. However, Google Assistant still beat them all across the board.”