Smart Assistant & Smart Speaker thread - "Google Assistant just beat the Turing test"

Fed up talking videogames? Why?

Which assistants/speakers do you use?

Google Assistant (Google Home, Sony, Panasonic, Lenovo, Sonos)
11
39%
Alexa (Amazon Echo)
13
46%
Siri (Apple Homepod)
4
14%
Cortana (Microsoft)
0
No votes
Bixby (Samsung)
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 28
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OrangeRKN
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PostRe: Smart Assistants and speakers
by OrangeRKN » Tue May 01, 2018 3:51 pm

Preezy wrote:
OrangeRakoon wrote:None, I like my privacy. I don't trust any of those companies to listen to and potentially harvest everything I say (and believe that they do, even when you haven't said the keyword).

So I take it you don't talk into your phone then? That's basically a microphone connected to the internet 24/7.


I don't use voice controls on it, so while it has the /potential/ to listen to everything I say, to my knowledge it isn't doing so. That's no different to say my laptop which has a mic in it.

My phone is normally only connected to the internet when I'm at home anyway, as when I head out I turn off wifi and I don't turn on mobile data unless I specifically need it (the same goes for location etc.).

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PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by <]:^D » Tue May 01, 2018 3:53 pm

remember when people could watch you through your webcam even when you thought it was off and you werent using it?
youve got a wi-fi-always-on speaker in your house :)

NickSCFC

PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by NickSCFC » Tue May 01, 2018 3:53 pm

Peter Crisp wrote:
Rax wrote:
NickSCFC wrote:
Peter Crisp wrote:
satriales wrote:None. I don't like the invasion of privacy.


Also this.
Why would I pay to have a gadget constantly listen in to what I'm doing?


Unless you trigger it to listen by saying something like "Hey Google" it won't register anything you say.

Yes they do. They hear eveything in the room all the time, they just dont respond unless you use the keyword.


If they didn't how would they know when a keyword has been used.


The device is always listening, none of what you say is sent to Google until you say "Hey Google", then it feeds what you say to the servers, just as it would with a search on their webpage.

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Drumstick
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PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by Drumstick » Tue May 01, 2018 3:54 pm

Don't have any interest in them due to privacy, have disabled the Google app on my phone and cancelled its privileges.

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PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by Moggy » Tue May 01, 2018 3:55 pm

Lotus wrote:Honestly can't see the point in them.


This.

It’s not the privacy issues that put me off (although those issues are valid!), I just don’t see what I would really use it for. Asking a speaker to play a song just doesn’t seem much easier than just setting a song to play.

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Lagamorph
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PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by Lagamorph » Tue May 01, 2018 4:03 pm

I've got an Alexa for in my living room but I barely use it.
Keep thinking of getting Hive heating that works with it.

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PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by Preezy » Tue May 01, 2018 4:09 pm

The only genuinely cool thing I can do with mine is to tell it to play something on youtube on my TV. My daughter thinks I'm a wizard.

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OrangeRKN
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PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by OrangeRKN » Tue May 01, 2018 4:17 pm

NickSCFC wrote:The device is always listening, none of what you say is sent to Google until you say "Hey Google", then it feeds what you say to the servers, just as it would with a search on their webpage.


The problem is that voice recognition is difficult and these devices will often think they heard "Hey Google" or whatever when it wasn't actually said.

This leads to random snippets of conversation being sent off to Google or whoever quite often

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PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by Ironhide » Tue May 01, 2018 4:34 pm

OrangeRakoon wrote:
NickSCFC wrote:The device is always listening, none of what you say is sent to Google until you say "Hey Google", then it feeds what you say to the servers, just as it would with a search on their webpage.


The problem is that voice recognition is difficult and these devices will often think they heard "Hey Google" or whatever when it wasn't actually said.

This leads to random snippets of conversation being sent off to Google or whoever quite often


I get how that might concern people but who's actually going to ever hear that 5 second snippet of conversation?

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PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by Moggy » Tue May 01, 2018 4:50 pm

Ironhide wrote:
OrangeRakoon wrote:
NickSCFC wrote:The device is always listening, none of what you say is sent to Google until you say "Hey Google", then it feeds what you say to the servers, just as it would with a search on their webpage.


The problem is that voice recognition is difficult and these devices will often think they heard "Hey Google" or whatever when it wasn't actually said.

This leads to random snippets of conversation being sent off to Google or whoever quite often


I get how that might concern people but who's actually going to ever hear that 5 second snippet of conversation?


How would your mate taking a shitty quiz on Facebook lead to Brexit and President Trump?

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PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by OrangeRKN » Tue May 01, 2018 4:52 pm

Ironhide wrote:I get how that might concern people but who's actually going to ever hear that 5 second snippet of conversation?


I believe the transcripts of all your triggered voice commands are viewable at https://myactivity.google.com/

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PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by KK » Tue May 01, 2018 4:54 pm

I've got voice recognition on my PC (Windows 10), PS4 (Dual Shock), Siri (iPhone and iPad) and through my TV remote (Bravia) and I think I use them about twice a year for novelty value. I'm really not very good at effectively talking to myself.

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PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by satriales » Tue May 01, 2018 4:54 pm

NickSCFC wrote:
Peter Crisp wrote:
Rax wrote:
NickSCFC wrote:
Peter Crisp wrote:
satriales wrote:None. I don't like the invasion of privacy.


Also this.
Why would I pay to have a gadget constantly listen in to what I'm doing?


Unless you trigger it to listen by saying something like "Hey Google" it won't register anything you say.

Yes they do. They hear eveything in the room all the time, they just dont respond unless you use the keyword.


If they didn't how would they know when a keyword has been used.


The device is always listening, none of what you say is sent to Google until you say "Hey Google", then it feeds what you say to the servers, just as it would with a search on their webpage.

When you search on their website it doesn't wait for you to press search before it sends it to Google, every key press is sent as soon as you type. If you type something and delete it before pressing send then Google still knows what you deleted.

I'm not sure I'd trust that they aren't recording more than they say they are.

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PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by Green Gecko » Tue May 01, 2018 6:18 pm

Well I read the privacy policy and its exactly as Nick says. If you are concerned about your privacy, don't use any social media at all and use DuckGoGo for your search.

The device listens for the OK Google prompt (and I have literally never seen it activate without saying it, at which point it visibly blinks, and you can also physically switch the microphone off or if it still bothers you just unplug it) on a hardware level, and then only if you say stuff is it sent, translated to text and then discarded, this gets added to your search history also in text that you can delete at any point. It listens for that soundbite every couple of seconds but that is not sent, that part of the voice recognition is performed on the device transiently. Again if this bothers you just turn it off.

I find it useful in my office, for £35 it was extremely good value as a disability assistant because I find it easier to use voice commands and process information aurally. An actual assistant would cost me tens of thousands so yeah. That kind of ai would never be available to consumers at such a low price, but there are also open source solutions if you want to build your own.

Every single android and apple phone has this feature so if you don't like it don't use a smartphone.

Albear it is massively more demanding and not really possible to "listen as you say", so it doesn't work that way, we're talking the difference between a few bits of data and megabytes which adds up to massive data processing need. That's not how the device is designed.

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PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by Errkal » Tue May 01, 2018 6:21 pm

I have 2 echos, father digging about I came to conclusion it was better than the Google option as you can add skills for stuff.

All in all in well impressed, being able to group then for Spotify is awesome. I'm no way getting the most out of them but I'm sure that will change over time.

#TeamAlexa

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PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by Green Gecko » Tue May 01, 2018 6:26 pm

The skills ecosystem is impressive yes but you can also do similar things using ITTT on google home and the voice processing ai is simply better by most tests. I'd say it's good at what you get out of the box with initial configuration and firmware updates will see how they compete but for home automation and less assistant type things Alexa is better. It could be said some people don't want to bother setting all these things up which is a fair point. I like that the other day I was listening to radio 5 and they mentioned online, on smart speaker etc and I hadn't heard that before. I was at my desk and asked Google min to play radio 5 and then radio 6 and it just worked.

It even used to play Shia labouf yelling "just do it" when I said "motivate me" which was hillarious.

The speaker quality is also very good even on the min versus echo dot, standard Alexa is great.

So ironically I would say Alex is good for everything and tweakers but Google home is a tighter product at what it does.

Never even heard of the others in the market.

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PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by bear » Tue May 01, 2018 6:28 pm

The absolute state of that poll. Sonos listed under Google Assistant but not under Alexa even though the only Voice Assistant Sonos currently supports is Alexa.


Lenovo are currently selling an Alexa speaker as well.

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PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by SMPL » Tue May 01, 2018 6:34 pm

I don't really have any need for one but the privacy issues are enough to deter me anyway. There's already a load of smartphone apps that collect info for advertising purposes via the mic, I'd rather not give the big tech giants more of my data than necessary.

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PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by Green Gecko » Tue May 01, 2018 6:37 pm

I've also noticed the smart home devices compatible with Google are generally really expensive whereas amazons own marketplace is going to be open to cheap devices probably from international sellers etc. I have no interest in this side at all, I just find it a great way to access prodoctivity tools like calendars and reminders etc without having to really interact with an archaic screen/keyboard interface so I can do other stuff.

The thing is though you only give the data you tell to the speaker so it is no different to using an Internet search?

I think more people need to get off the internet. I actually see it as way to give away less data and analytics by using other devices in tandem less, which have more information down to your photos, face, programs you use, when how you use them etc, your contact list, your call log etc, right down to your invidual mouse movements and keystrokes at times.

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PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by Grumpy David » Tue May 01, 2018 7:44 pm

Not useful enough for me to part with money and privacy.

I sorta dislike voice controls in general. Touchscreen is more precise and no one nearby knows what you're doing. Voice controls reminds me of the shitty Nintendo Wii controls that were just useless on Wii Boxing.


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