“It’s always on… voice recognition hears you from across the room”… Given Amazon’s close relationship with both the NSA and CIA, the company will be hard pressed to convince civil liberties advocates of Echo’s caring nature, whether programmed or learned.
‘Amazon unveiled its new digital assistant the “Echo” this week, a cloud-connected device that is “always on.”
Controlled by a user’s voice, Amazon boasts the device’s ability to answer questions, provide weather updates, and play music.
“Amazon Echo is designed around your voice. It’s always on—just ask for information, music, news, weather, and more,” Amazon states. “Echo begins working as soon as it hears you say the wake word, ‘Alexa.’ It’s also an expertly-tuned speaker that can fill any room with immersive sound.
Using “far-field voice recognition,” the Echo can detect and analyze voices even when other loud noises are prevalent.’