Media Chat: AI Spy

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Mackenna: Hey guys! So, we are going to talk about Alexa and how she is supposedly listening to everyone all the time. What do you guys think about?? Also, here are some articles about it all and different incidents where she was listening in. Its spooky season guys!

Is your Amazon Alexa spying on you?

Is Alexa Listening? Amazon Echo Sent Out Recording of Couple’s Conversation

Murder charge dropped in Amazon Echo case

Carla: So freaky for real! I wonder if there’s an option to clear Alexa’s history?

So, she forgets everything she’s heard?


Mackenna: You know that is one thing that I am not 100% on but I was reading an article from Fox News and they were saying that, “The device records a lot of what you say. Deep inside that dark tower, Echo keeps a vast trove of recordings. Your voice is preserved. Your friends’ voices are preserved. Anyone who has ever been to your house and said, “Alexa!” has contributed to its great library of human sound.”

Can you imagine what else she’s been listening to and storing. So, to answer your question I don’t think she forgets everything, no


Carla: I wonder if our phones are doing that too

It reminds me of that thing. I forget the proper name for it… but it’s like when Facebook keeps track of your google searches in order to provide accurate advertising


Mackenna: Oh, hands down, I know that when we were in class talking about it all that Siri listens to most of our conversations and what we say but Microsoft actually is recording you all the time.


Carla: Like effective but also freaky… maybe too much of a breach of security?

It’s funny that’s it’s not a more talked about issue

You know what I mean? People still have tape over their webcams, but they aren’t clued into the listening portion


Mackenna: Yeah possibly and I actually just looked that up to see what you were talking about for Facebook and someone said that as long as your computer keeps cookies then they have the legal right to track what you have been searching. Like that’s a little over the top for me.

This is probs what Alexa is doing as well


Zach: Yes, I definitely have to agree with you guys. Definitely an invasion of privacy.


Carla: But not enough of an invasion for people to get rid of their devices :woman-shrugging::skin-tone-2:


Mackenna: What’s crazy with it all is that even though we may say it an invasion of privacy, I still have an Alexa and so does my sister and her mom

I agree Carla ^^^

: I wonder what it’s gonna take for people to boycott


Mackenna: Well you know how in class I was saying how Alexa may have solved a murder case and you all thought I was making it up?


Carla: It’s a scary thing because there’s no escaping it… in order to be relevant in today’s world you need a phone and computer haha


Zach: Yes, I heard about that too @Mackenna

Is there a mode you can turn on that prevents her from listening?


Mackenna: Yeah well, they are dropping charges but that actually happened, and Alexa was activated, so I wonder if she has some type of signal if she hears screaming she turns on…

@Zach No there isn’t lol, I’ve tried

You just have to turn her off.


Zach: The next Alexa that comes out should have that action


Mackenna: If you had that option then how would you turn her back on then?


Carla: There’s no escaping it :jack_o_lantern::ghost::skull_and_crossbones:]


Lauren: Good point. I wonder if there is a way she could be listening without recording? That seems to be where all the issues come from.

Mackenna: But the problem is she is hooked to the internet and that’s how she gets her information so I think in order for her to process the information she has to record for an input to get the information as an output. Just a thought. I am not 100% on that

Lauren: And like Carla said earlier, our phones are definitely listening to us! I was talking to my mom about someone I knew from high school and she magically popped up on my suggested friends that evening, even though we had only 2 mutual friends. FREAKY


Mackenna: Ok so I was reading further into the Fox News article that I mentioned before and it states that, ” Is Amazon Echo always listening?

The short answer is yes. Alexa is activated when it detects one of its wake words: “Alexa,” “Amazon,” “Computer” or “Echo.” You know the device is ready for a command when the outer ring at the top glows blue.”

I will attach it so you guys can read it and see what I am talking about.

How to listen to everything Amazon Echo has ever heard


Zach: That’s definitely very interesting and creepy. Although, pretty amazing that technology has become this advanced

Lauren: In the article about the murder case, they say Alexa “misheard” the wake word. Then “misheard” the owner asking to send a message.  How can we trust these devices if they make this many mistake?


Carla: Ok also I was just thinking… like what is the actual fear?

Like our phones and stuff know our location all the time


Mackenna: @Lauren I agree with that and also how did they even think to use that in the crime scene evidence unless there really truly is someone listening to you all the time?


Carla: And most of our info is accessible online already

So what else do we have to lose? Lol


Mackenna: @Carla Yeah, I agree like whenever I am heading back to campus it will always tell me how long it will take


Zach: Is this only with apple phones?


Mackenna: Like I know that you can turn that off but even if you turn it off is it really off?


Lauren: Same! It’s pretty creepy that we’re always being listened to and tracked, but I guess we really always have been…?

I think all smart phones do it


Mackenna: Yeah, I guess we have

And another handy function that I didn’t think was freaky till now was how it tells you where you parked your car

And @Zach I think it might be. I don’t have anything about droids.


Lauren: Woah I didn’t know that! A little creepy but would be really helpful for someone like me who forgets where she parks :joy:


Zach: Haha I can definitely relate to that one @Lauren


Mackenna: Do you guys have an Alexa and if so has this happened to you? I thought this was funny cause this happens to us all the time and then my roommate and I end up yelling at Alexa cause she does not play the right song.


Zach: Although Alexa isn’t perfect, and can be frustrating to some hahaha…. @Mackenna I feel that after a couple years of fixing the flaws, she will be.


Lauren: YES! My friend has several google homes and she has the one in her bedroom play rain sounds. Well the one in the kitchen heard something very different and started blasting rock music. Not what I wanted.


Mackenna: I also looked up things you should never ask Alexa and this another thing about that murder case as well. CRAZY


Zach: That would be really creepy is you are sleeping and Alexa started talking randomly. Future horror movie? Lol


Mackenna: That’s happened to me @Zach

Instead it was music


Zach: Still creepy but not as creepy @Mackenna


Lauren: I personally wouldn’t get one. I like my privacy and I’m just not that lazy at this point in my life :woman-shrugging::skin-tone-3:


Carla: I don’t think there’s a solution to any of this though to be honest


Mackenna: This one is also funny, I am pretty sure someone said this in an earlier post but she and other devices are becoming a part of our lives and we just don’t realize how much they influence it all too


Carla: It just seems to be where we’re headed as far transparency and also convenience goes

I think we’re gonna just have to adapt and adjust because I don’t see devices like Alexa going anywhere


Mackenna: Lol I’m that lazy, don’t get me wrong I love my Alexa and she helps me out a ton and when I went home for over break I found myself asking her questions, but she wasn’t there to answer them for me.


Zach: Society is finding many ways to make everything more convenient


Mackenna: I don’t think there is one either  @Carla

I agree ^^ @Zach


Zach: Pretty soon Alexa robots will be cleaning your dishes, or bringing you water


Lauren: What would you guys think about an internet bill of rights? That was in a lot of articles I read


Mackenna: Haha well I hope that never happens because that will be the definition of lazy :joy:

That’s a great question @Lauren, why don’t you tell us what you think


Lauren: I think it’s a good idea, but it’s difficult with free speech. It’s hard to decide what counts and what doesn’t. And who gets to decide?


Mackenna: I agree with who gets to decide part because then what will our society turn into? Also I do think its a good idea as well but only the part that your privacy should be the top priority, especially in todays society.


Lauren: Who knows where our society is going. Great talk though, I’ve definitely learned a lot and formed some new opinions!


Mackenna: Yes of course thanks for giving your input on it all and the same goes for everyone on here too!!


Zach: I will definitely continue to follow information about Alexa. Hopefully the news and updates on the device will be positives. Thank you guys!!!