September 9, 2016
The battle between humans and robots has been well-documented. Whether it's the Terminator movies or those online videos of Roomba's dragging dog poop across living room floors, people have always been suspicious of technology that's just a little bit smarter than them. Unfortunately for them, Amazon Echo is going to get an upgrade that will allow it to speak up without voice commands, marking the most unsettlingly change to the technology to date.
According to a report from The Information, Amazon has begun prepping the Echo for push notifications that do not need to be activated by your voice. That means it will be able to pipe up out of no where, turning your home into a veritable haunted house of disembodied voices telling you about the weather and how hot your coffee is.
This represents the first digital assistant device to be provided with a bit of free will. While the Amazon Echo will exclusively be attached to connected apps that can be monitored and notified, giving the device this level of control over your life seems a bit creepy. Sure, having to look at your smartphone to find out when your Uber has arrived is exhausting. But is the added effort of lifting your arm for a few seconds really worth never being alone ever again?
A number of notable minds have commented on the threats of artificial intelligence on more than one occasion. Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and Bill Gates have all made public statements in light of the burgeoning technology, often with a very pessimistic outcomes, like the end of the human race, for example.
As one of the most prolific technology companies in the world, Amazon understands the public's concerns. Which is why, for their next update, Amazon Echo will always be directly behind you whenever you wipe steam off the bathroom mirror while home alone.
Photo: Flickr / Rob Albright
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