Amazon patents ‘voice-sniffing’ algorithms

Latest news

    Amazon EchoImage copyright Amazon
    Image caption Amazon launched its Echo speakers in 2014

    Amazon says it does not eavesdrop on customers’ conversations to target advertising at them, after it emerged it had patented “voice-sniffing” tech.

    The patent describes listening to conversations and building a profile of customers’ likes and dislikes.

    Reports speculated that Amazon would deploy the technology in its voice-activated Echo speakers.

    But Amazon said it did not listen to customers’ conversations to target advertising at them.

    Launched in 2014, Amazon’s Echo speakers can play music, set a timer or read the news when addressed with the wake word “Alexa”.

    However, the patent describes an algorithm that can listen to entire conversations, using “trigger words”, such as like and love, to build a profile of customers.

    The document states the system could then offer “targeted advertising and product recommendations”.

    Image copyright Amazon
    Image caption Amazon says it does not listen to conversations

    But Amazon said it did not use customers’ voice recordings for targeted advertising.

    In a statement, it said: “We take privacy seriously and have built multiple layers of privacy into our Echo devices.

    “Like many companies, we file a number of forward-looking patent applications that explore the full possibilities of new technology.

    “Patents take multiple years to receive and do not necessarily reflect current developments to products and services.”

    Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, has also denied that his firm listens to conversations in order to serve up targeted ads.

    View the original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-43725708

    Responding to a question from Senator Gary Peters during a US Congress hearing, Mr Zuckerberg said: “You’re talking about this conspiracy theory that gets passed around that we listen to what’s going on, on your microphone and use that for ads… we don’t do that.”

    In the same category are

    Boy aged three injured in ‘acid attack’ in Worcester Image copyright West Mercia Police Image caption Police released CCTV images of three men they want to speak to about the incident A three-year-ol...
    UKTV: Dave and Gold among channels dropped by Virgin Media Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Taskmaster featuring Alex Horne and Greg Davies is one of Dave's most popular shows Fans of Taskmaster ...
    Trump-Putin: Top US spy retracts ‘awkward response’ Image copyright Reuters Image caption Dan Coats has downplayed his "awkward response" to news of a second Trump-Putin summit The head of US intell...
    Supergirl to feature TV’s first transgender superhero Image copyright Getty Images Supergirl is to become the first live-action TV series to feature a transgender superhero.Activist and actor Nicole Mai...
    Syria conflict: Israel evacuates ‘White Helmets’ Image copyright Reuters Image caption Members of the White Helmets operating in Aleppo in northern Syria Israel has evacuated members of a Syrian ...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.