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Be Wary of Adopting a Virtual Assistant in Your Business Environment

Proper data accumulation is necessary to train an AI to improve voice recognition, but vendors need to:

  • Gather valuable data.
  • Respect user privacy.

On the one hand, they could collect user data all the time and have too much useless data to sift through, or on the other hand they could only collect responses following the wake word (Hey Google, Hey Siri, etc.). The latter case is the obvious choice for both data quality and for end-user privacy.

You have, however, probably noticed that Google or Siri start listening when you say a word that sounds like Google or Siri. Even without malicious intent from Google or Apple, the virtual assistant doesn’t know your intention, starts recording, and sends that recording for analysis. Inadvertently, it may have recorded conversations that are private.

This latest release from Apple is just a string of corporations listening in to and saving your private conversations and sending those conversations to contractors to analyze. In response to this latest leak from Apple whistleblowers, Apple has halted the program for contractors to listen into conversations.

Check out the reviews of Amazon Lex on SoftwareReviews, Accessed August 15, 2019

Our Take

Recently, Google Duplex and Alexa for Business was released as a virtual assistant for businesses. Adopting virtual assistants in your business within the current environment is a risk you need to assess. At best, you save time and money with scheduling and booking with low-level language data being recorded by the virtual assistant. At worst, you open your company up to a privacy risk, which could go as far as break regulatory compliance.

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