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Author Topic: Amazon Echo ...  (Read 2421 times)

phi2008

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Amazon Echo ...
« on: October 24, 2017, 10:46:38 PM »

People having been raving about these but I just put it down to a fad, like hula hoops ... then I got a Dot, I was completely wrong. The voice recognition is very slick and accurate, and the mic picks up normal voice volume at long range- you don't have to shout. I'm currently using it(the Dot) as a glorified  WiFi radio and podcast player - though I have other uses for it in the future. Very impressive little devices.  :)
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burakkucat

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Re: Amazon Echo ...
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2017, 11:12:34 PM »

I can appreciate the enthusiasm people have over those types of devices but the cautious side of me would never allow a microphone to be connected to an Internet based utility.  :-X
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Amazon Echo ...
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2017, 11:33:35 PM »

I can appreciate the enthusiasm people have over those types of devices but the cautious side of me would never allow a microphone to be connected to an Internet based utility.  :-X

Mixed feelings.   Mine’s an Apple household and I do use Apple’s Siri, but all my devices have traditionally configured such that a deliberate button push is needed, before Siri starts listening.

Exception is the watch, which simply responds to “Hey, Siri” anytime my arm is raised.  I have enabled that because it makes the watch 1000% more useful.  But it also means that the watch, the one device that is always nearby, potentially catches large amounts of snippets from all my conversations and sends them to Apple.   Good job I have no  secrets, but it still makes me nervy.    :D
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burakkucat

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Re: Amazon Echo ...
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2017, 11:39:06 PM »

Just wondering if Uncle Sam's "No Such Agency" has a cavernous bunker, in the centre of a no mans' land, with direct, one-way, multi-fibre optic links from Apple and Google . . .  :o
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phi2008

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Re: Amazon Echo ...
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2017, 11:57:10 PM »

I can appreciate the enthusiasm people have over those types of devices but the cautious side of me would never allow a microphone to be connected to an Internet based utility.  :-X

Could be right about the mic, I was just sitting in the living room at one end of the house and the door was open, said(at normal speaking volume) "Alexa play Radio 4" and it heard me and started - it was 16 metres away, down a hallway, in my bedroom. Pretty sensitive mic.
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tubaman

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Re: Amazon Echo ...
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2017, 09:14:15 AM »

I'm with burakkucat on this one.  The thought of an open, internet connected, mic permanently listening to every word said simply horrifies me.
And as for Uncle Sam's lot - well, they do have previous form!  :no:
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Amazon Echo ...
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2017, 09:53:31 AM »

A question, out of my idle curiosity, how sensitive is Alexa to false triggers?

In over two years, I’ve had maybe half a dozen false triggers on my Apple Watch, where it picks up some background noise that it thinks is somebody saying “hey Siri” co-incident with me raising my arm.    It then listens to what follows, trying to find a meaningful command, meaning the subsequent soundtrack is all uploaded.  It does tap me on the wrist to let me know it is listening.

Most often, “Hey Siri” has been falsely detected when there is background conversations (babble) going on, it has happened on public transport, and when watching TV.   But on one occasion last week I was alone in the house, emptying the dishwasher.  No radio or TV, no voices, somehow it constructed a “Hey Siri” from the clatter of saucepans.   :D
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phi2008

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Re: Amazon Echo ...
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2017, 11:29:14 AM »

I can't answer that as a new user, I'm keeping "Alexa" as the trigger and not switching to "Echo" or "computer" - which I suppose would be more likely to cause problems.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Amazon Echo ...
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2017, 02:09:10 PM »

One of many mischievous thoughts that sometimes enter my head...

If I were a script writer for some popular TV show, what fun it would be to include the phrases “OK Google”, “Alexa” and “Hey Siri” in actors lines as often as possible.   ::)
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phi2008

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Re: Amazon Echo ...
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2017, 03:05:43 PM »

One of many mischievous thoughts that sometimes enter my head...

If I were a script writer for some popular TV show, what fun it would be to include the phrases “OK Google”, “Alexa” and “Hey Siri” in actors lines as often as possible.   ::)

I watch some online tech broadcasts and for some time now(months?) the presenters won't say those triggers because of complaints from viewers.
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Ronski

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Re: Amazon Echo ...
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2017, 03:39:12 PM »

One of many mischievous thoughts that sometimes enter my head...

If I were a script writer for some popular TV show, what fun it would be to include the phrases “OK Google”, “Alexa” and “Hey Siri” in actors lines as often as possible.   ::)

I'm sure recently there was an advert that triggered one of them.
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j0hn

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Re: Amazon Echo ...
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2017, 05:33:34 PM »

One of many mischievous thoughts that sometimes enter my head...

If I were a script writer for some popular TV show, what fun it would be to include the phrases “OK Google”, “Alexa” and “Hey Siri” in actors lines as often as possible.   ::)
Reminded me of a recent South Park episode. While searching YouTube for a clip I came across this...

It's South Park, so volume down if you're at work..
https://youtu.be/Yf0WJQfGQoY
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kitz

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Re: Amazon Echo ...
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2017, 12:05:38 AM »

A question, out of my idle curiosity, how sensitive is Alexa to false triggers?

I've had a few.  I was puzzled at first why it would suddenly start giving me a news brief or why stir cereals had been added to my shopping list.  Found the culprit which were TV ads... for the Echo!  ::)
It's also woken me once by playing relaxation techniques.  The TV was on so that was possibility, but there was no voice request in the app.


This is a copy of something I posted on my wall about 6 weeks ago after it first started doing randoms

Quote
No you did not do what I wanted Alexa! For the past week or so random things have been happening with my Echo, that I couldn't quite understand.
About 5 mins ago, the echo in the PC room started playing music by itself. The TV was on in another room and it suddenly dawned on me what was happening. After opening the app to check the most recent commands, sure enough there were a couple that definitely weren't from me.
It's hearing (Chan5) TV ads from some distance away in another room and obeying them. I've no idea what 'stir cereals' are that it added to my shopping list.
Must watch the ad to see what it is actually saying - but it will probably explain several of the oddnesses that have occurred recently.
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kitz

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Re: Amazon Echo ...
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2017, 12:30:58 AM »

I can appreciate the enthusiasm people have over those types of devices but the cautious side of me would never allow a microphone to be connected to an Internet based utility.  :-X

I had mixed feelings at first, but its made my life so much easier.  Particularly on bad days when I find it hard to type or hold a pen.  I now talk to it all the time. 
Set alarms. Reminders to do things.  Ask it random or general questions.  Weather, shopping lists, appointments, bin day, ask it the date when checking items in the fridge.  It was supposed to be a music player, but now its the other things that are used so much more often.   
More importantly... a few months ago I had a fall and couldn't get up from the kitchen floor.  It took me nrly 1.5 hrs of screaming and swearing to get to the phone to call someone as I couldn't reach the landline and had left my mobile upstairs charging.   There is now an app (skill) and I have a designated person to call in an emergency.
   
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Amazon Echo ...
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2017, 09:36:35 AM »

Sorry to hear of these issues, Kitz.   :(

I do agree that assistants can be immensely useful.  Examples of perfect interactions, from recent memory include...

“Remind me to put the bins out at 7am”.   I normally attend to that chore the previous evening, but had forgotten on that occasion.

“How long will it take to drive here from Portsmouth?”  I was sitting at the computer and a friend had just called to say he was about to set off to visit me.  Siri gave an assurance that current traffic was light, and an ETA that proved pretty accurate.

“Text <a name> saying my train gets in at 17:03”.




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