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    • Alexa skills can already do a lot of these voice activated actions. For example, I can ask Alexa to find my phone or call someone directly. With some additional accessories it can even turn on and off lights, outlets, garage doors and more.

      What’s interesting is that elderly people can actually have fun interacting with Alexa by asking questions about history, tell jokes and just remind them of something.

      Since Alexa keeps improving overtime and over the air with new skills, I don’t really see a need for a special device for elderly. It is getting cheaper and better every day.

    • Sounds really perfect to me too! I will continue to think about how to do it. I just need to teach my eighty five year old dad some English, but that's not happening soon. Or get a multilingual Alexa when it will become available. Ability of a device to perform voice commands in their case would be a godsend, when it takes an hour over the phone (and multiple sessions some times) to untangle something that was touched by accident on their tablet.

    • don’t worry or start being silent. Very soon walls, floors and furniture will start hearing you.

      No , I’m not kidding.

    • Yes, to a point. I mean, I use the internet, I shop online, I use Facebook Messenger and text to talk with my kids, I use Google Maps, and Google Search to find all sorts of stuff. I understand that my data is being collected and I do not have complete privacy. But I choose to take that risk for specific conveniences. One thing I found especially disturbing from these articles was that there has been at least one instance of recordings from a home device being subpoenad. Not that I'm concerned that I'm discussing illegal things, but how is that not the same as an unauthorized wiretap? If I get an Alexa so I can tell it to play music instead of using my phone and my little bluetooth speaker, does that mean I want it to record random snippets of my conversation and give away my rights to have a totally private conversation in my own home? It's the broader question of just how far we want to go to make every aspect of our lives available to anyone that seems creepy. Where will we stop?

    • The onus should not be on the consumer, in my opinion. If they need to record I think they should auto-delete after 24 hours. Better still, if they need to improve the voice recognition, allow people to opt-in and have the auto recording be optional. Maybe give people a discount if they are willing to participate. I'm sure they are smart enough to figure out a way to do this.

    • I agree Richard. The current default is to commoditize our experiences wherever they may be found whether we implicitly share them or not. This is why I am a big fan of what Tim Berners Lee is trying to pull off with the Solid Framework. By default our experiences should be locked down and only shared through specific permissions granted. This idea of permissions granted as a collective through the process of logging into a social network, browsing, or searching the web has to change or it is only going to get worse.

    • The metadata collected on the trivialities of your life can be food for both bad actors and neutral actors to influence what you experience. The 2016 election was a perfect example of weaponizing metadata to influence a connected use base.

    • I admire you for looking into this and share your concern. I just think that the services which protect your privacy to a greater degree usually cannot give as good a user experience, and most of us choose the experience.

      For example, Duck Duck Go’s search engine gives better privacy than Google, but 99% of people who try it go back to Google.

      Imo, it’s kind of like sugar in cereal. As long as we buy the stuff with sugar, they’ll keep making it.

    • I agree with you on Duck Duck Go. I have been trying to support it in my Brave browser but it certainly doesn't hit the mark on search. Convenience or Clarity. A hard one to fight at times, unfortunately.

    • I just think that the services which protect your privacy to a greater degree usually cannot give as good a user experience, and most of us choose the experience.

      This might be true, but I don't see why it is necessarily the case.

    • I believe it is largely due to the belief that this is the only way for providers to maximize their shareholder interests. Why is clickbait even a thing? Convenience is turning out to be a commodity in of itself because it demonstrates value (attention/revenue) to the organization. Sure would love to see this pivot to building for user value first. But I do remain hopeful!!

    • Behind "Iron Curtain" surveillance was prevalent, it isn't capitalism's invention or internet's problem. Sure one had nothing to worry about as long as they didn't say the wrong things, right? For the most part. Yet, even when they didn't, a certain someone could have planted evidence and make false accusations to gain the upper hand in obtaining what they wanted from any person. Today, all these controls for privacy being put in place have an underlying weakness, there is no enforcing way from the users nor elsewhere. Nor can they be comprehensive to what is coming in the future. Best way to secure something is the principle of least privilege, and reason why blacklisting never works long term.

    • You hit the nail on head. Users lack control. Have we really every been in control even before technology. Only a select few but why am I so mule headed to believe we will find a way to at least claim partial control. Are you familiar with SingularityNet.io? I read (listened) to the whitepaper https://public.singularitynet.io/whitepaper.pdf. Seems a bit Utopian at first glance but I really do feel there a democratic principals at play here. Out of all the tech I am researching Decentralizing AI seems to be the one with the most teeth to give the reins to the users.