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Amazon refuses to listen to Alexa for ‘legends’

In a year that saw Amazon blog about the voice-powered Alexa device 28 different times As part of its efforts to grow its overall ecosystem of connected devices, the e-commerce giant has finally taken over the 800-pound wiretapping device in the room.

This, like a retail giant Alexa update twelfth this quarter It aims to defuse consumer concerns about privacy – or “myths” as they call them – that have plagued its growing range of listening and answering devices since its launch in 2014.

But the real question is, “Why now?”

“We clear common misconceptions about how Alexa works, from how to protect your privacy to managing your experience,” the unsigned blog post begins, below the banner header, “Shattering the 4 Biggest Myths About Amazon’s Alexa.”

Specifically, the Seattle-based tech giant deals with issues ranging from where and what is heard and recorded, to users’ ability to monitor and delete what they have said, as well as general security questions related to the risk of strangers being hacked. to eavesdrop on your home.

simplify Alexa

Comparing the rise of Alexa and Echo devices to the uptake of initially hesitant consumers in the early days of television, computers and the Internet, Amazon said it wanted to demystify how Alexa worked.

The blog stated that “emerging technologies often face skepticism, especially if it is not immediately clear how they work or what benefit they serve.” “The same goes for voice assistants like Alexa: aspects of how they work are still sometimes misunderstood.”

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At the top of the list of misunderstandings, Amazon cites consumers’ concern about how their small digital devices always listen to being called and yet are able to ignore everything else that is said, a differentiation skill it attributes to five specific “alerts.” words.”

Until your Echo detects the wake word you chose — current options include “Alexa,” “Amazon,” “Echo,” “Ziggy,” and “Computer” — Alexa does not record or store what you or anyone else in the room said.” , indicating that the blue light is also activated when the device is listening, and it can be turned off and on manually as well.

In addition to referring customers to visit device privacy settings to manage or delete voice history and recordings, either immediately or automatically on a recurring basis, Amazon has also given customers its assurance that the information shared is secure and encrypted.

The company said that “data encryption, strict security reviews, and regular automatic updates for Alexa-enabled devices are working together to help ensure they operate as securely as possible,” without providing further details of any reported breaches or hacks.

“As well as designing all of our devices and services with security in mind, we dedicate significant resources and the strength of people to testing and maintaining the safety of our devices,” Amazon added.

But will you succeed?

It’s still unclear why Amazon felt the need to bring up this topic now in the wake of two dozen other Alexa-tagged blog posts ranging from summer playlists to how novice users and loved ones feel safer when they know someone – or something – can hear their cry for help.

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Whether the Myth Busting interpretation relaxes any minds is also up for debate, especially among tech-savvy privacy advocates who have written critically About voice-activated devices for years.

However, PYMNTS February 2022 Consumer Authentication Experiences A study conducted in collaboration with Pindrop, indicated that the growth and development of voice technology was not only expected to rise throughout 2022, but that “52% of consumers who access accounts digitally were satisfied, while only 43% who use their phones are satisfied with digital authentication and want Options such as audio available.”

“This data highlights the significant opportunity to improve customer satisfaction and suggests that organizations looking to do so would be wise to consider voice-based solutions that can be consistent across digital and telephony,” the report said.

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New PYMNTS data: How utilities and consumer finance companies can enhance the bill payment experience

Around: More than half of utility companies and consumer finance companies have the ability to process all monthly bill payments digitally. kicker? Only 12% of them do so. Digital Payments Edge, a collaboration between PYMNTS and ACI Worldwide, surveyed 207 billing and collection professionals at these companies to find out why a full digital transformation remains elusive.

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