A dad looks at a year's worth of voice-searches by his five-year-old

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/18/voice-assistant-parenting.html

Childhood’s End


I lasted about a minute. This was a google-sponsored video, correct? Bleugh… fuck google.


I thought it seemed a little uncritical of a huge megacorp storing years worth of childrens’ voices


Remember the days when “voice search” consisted of the words Marco and Polo?


isn’t mass surveillance just adorable?


I had a piecework gig for a while transcribing voice searches people said into their phones. Sometimes it was interesting, mostly not, but the number of entries that consisted of an adult handing their kid a phone to play with and the kid saying “la la la la la la la la la la POOPYPANTS! hahahahahaah” into it was… a lot.


I’m starting a snark–pile!

Oh, mass surveillance is the best! So long as it isn’t actually tangible than I’m all about mass surveillance, but if I can see it like a quad-copter being flown over a field two blocks away, well that I can see and that guy flying it is most likely a pedophile that wants to look into my windows with his flying camera to get video of my cat because I just convinced myself he’s now into some sick cat-stuff. So I should be able to freak out about that and shoot it down with a shotgun and beat my chest as I talk about protecting my freedoms. At a bare minimum I should be able to threaten to murder the person for flying it so close to my home because he’s trying to spy on me and my sexy cat. Hell, I’ll freak out about one person flying a glorified RC plane, over an empty field but thousands of programs and people with wholesale access to our data dragnetting it for anything that looks “terrorist-y” while also adjusting what that term “terrorist-y” means depending on what kind of results they want all while getting the rubber stamp of approval from our government every so many months for their trouble is totally cool, because I can’t see or touch any of that.

Crap, I was going to end my rant and get off my high horse now, but it’s so damned tall I’m worried I’ll break my neck. Wait I’ve got a solution! “Okay Google, what’s the best way to get off a very tall horse?”.


So this is the modern version of the 20 volume encyclopedia set with which my father told me to “look it up” whenever I incessantly asked him questions as a kid.


Ah yes. This is exactly the sort of smug treacly schmaltz I seek out, week in, week out, on th’internet.

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I just looked through my 16 year-old son’s google searches. They were not nearly as adorable.


I’d be careful about leaving emotional scars on the five-year-old who’s going to be picking your old age home someday.

"otay gooble, how i git rid of daddys body…"

wait, what?


Ads are getting smarter

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The way things are going that kid is going to be living in his dad’s old age home’s basement.

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that dude trusts google to raise his children.

i guess my parents trusted cable tv.



Yeah, but it can’t be left to private companies. Maybe governments should do it?

Seems like some folks didn’t watch to the end before commenting.

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Funny for a second, until you realize that, yeah, not just mega-corps and gov’s, but everyone is going to do it. Some knowingly, and some not.