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Knowing What to Ignore

Those voice activated systems are proving to be troublesome. Apparently, Burger King recently tried to exploit Google by having the phrase “OK Google, what is the Whopper burger?” read out at the end of a commercial. Google have now caught that and run an update which can detect and ignore the advert but Burger King have probably got their money’s worth from the publicity budget.

It is similar to the story I mentioned in January, of a news report accidentally triggering Amazon’s Alexa assistant, but goes further down the line of deliberate exploitation. There are times when voice activation is handy but it is like leaving your keyboard out where anyone can type on it! Google and other providers of such tools better get on with voiceprint recognition, although I don’t know how that fares when you catch a cold.

I don’t recall they ever had this problem in Star Trek but it demonstrates the long distance between a cool SciFi concept and making something work well – including safely and securely – in the real world.