Genealogy’s Star: Using Voice Recognition in Genealogy: Names and dates and places. “Over the years, I have used voice recognition software off and on, always hoping that it would become the solution to quickly entering information so that I could avoid typing. Most recently, voice recognition software has become ubiquitous with smartphones and apps such as Siri and Google Assistant or one of the many other such programs. For example, when I get a phone message on my iPhone, the message is automatically transcribed into text.”
Slate: How Will Voice Control Change the Web Browser? “We all know how to use a desktop browser. You type in a URL or search term, head to the website of your choice, and read the information it serves up. While browsers have added some bells and whistles—additional security features to protect your data while browsing, for example, or things like Reading Lists to circle back to longreads when you’ve got extra time—their general operation and navigation hasn’t changed much over the past decade. Now, a new trend is gaining traction—voice control—and it could give us a new way to browse the internet.”
TechCrunch: Google Assistant’s ‘Continued Conversation’ feature is now live. “Google I/O was awash with Assistant news, but Duplex mystery aside, Continued Conversation was easily one of the most compelling announcements of the bunch. The feature is an attempt to bring more naturalized conversation to the AI — a kind of holy grail with these sorts of smart assistants. Continued Conversation is rolling out to Assistant today for users in the U.S. with a Home, Home Mini and Home Max.”
Digit: YouTuber gets Google Assistant to trigger a gun, makes us ponder the dangers of AI. “In a world that’s progressively ploarising into pro-AI and anti-AI netizens, a video dropped on YouTube by Alexander Reben last week has managed to send reactions of different kinds rippling through the vast internet. The thirty-second-long video shows an air gun mounted on a stand with a string attached to its trigger. The ends of the string are attached to a solenoid, which, in turn is connected to a switch that can be controlled by the Google Assistant. Within the gun’s line of sight is an apple (read: a few centimetres away from the muzzle), also placed on a stand of equal height. So, when a voice commands, ‘Activate Gun’, the gun fires a pellet at the apple, knocking it down to the floor.” Not sure how this is AI more than it’s simple voice operation.
The Register: You know that silly fear about Alexa recording everything and leaking it online? It just happened. “It’s time to break out your ‘Alexa, I Told You So’ banners – because a Portland, Oregon, couple received a phone call from one of the husband’s employees earlier this month, telling them she had just received a recording of them talking privately in their home.”
EurekAlert: Hey Alexa: Amazon’s virtual assistant becomes a personal assistant to software developers . “Researchers said it was more than just a matter of teaching Alexa some key phrases and mapping different commands to the work, they also had to figure out common multi-step tasks engineers were performing and build a system that could automate those tasks. They then asked 21 engineers from local Vancouver software companies to test out their system and evaluate it. While the engineers found the tool useful and provided lots of positive feedback, there was one challenge.”
Search Engine Journal: Every Digital Assistant You Need to Know & Understand. “Digital assistants are more popular than ever before. Almost half of Americans now use them – a testament to the technology’s growing value and place as a viable channel for commerce and customer engagement. But what exactly is a digital assistant?”