The next iteration of Alexa is designed to watch you while you get dressed

‘It’s mimosa time!’

Notice the ‘Alexa, ask your sister …’. That’s invoking a specific skill titled ‘your sister’, I’d venture that it didn’t come from Amazon either, anyone can make those things.

“The future is now, but it’s all going wrong”


What really creeps me out about Alexa isn’t the surveillance; it’s the fact of a corporation that wants to be your mother. They’re envisioning a world where you inhabit your home like a womb. You’re all cozy and warm—but wait, you feel a little itch in the back of your brain, a twinge of discomfort, so you call out: “Aaallleeexa…I’m hungry. Bring me some power bars. Aaallleeexa…I’m bored, bring me some comic books.” And then, within hours, a drone shows up at your door.

Fuck that.


Can’t you set the activation phrase to a secret string of 24 random characters, including uppercase, lowercase, punctuation symbols, yodels, and tibetan throat singing? That would make it more difficult for other people to activate it.


Its eyes don’t turn me on as much as Ceiling Cat’s do.

Sorry, Alexa, but you can’t afford me.


Christ man, people. are. so. dumb.

I hate to pull the “kids today” thing, but…

It seems like they don’t even have the same concept of privacy that older generations do. I don’t know whether it’s because they’re so acclimated to constant surveillance, because they’ve just given up on any hope of it, or genuinely don’t think it’s important.


Amazon already knows that I’m skinny and dont dress fashionably.

Impossible! Next you’re going to tell me that Santa Claus doesn’t exist.

I wonder if this is all going to go the direction that concern for gmail’s spying on its users has. As we all know Gmail processes every sentence in every user’s email (recipient and sender), and I used to hear a lot of concern over that, but not so much lately. Not sure if that’s due to people trusting The Googles more, getting more comfortable with robots eavesdropping on them, or just abandoning gmail. I have a feeling it’s mostly comfort with robots, especially given the understanding that the service’s success depends on people trusting it.

For my part I’ve just gotten very comfortable pressing that button that turns off its sensors when I’m not using it. And if science fiction has taught me anything, it’s that soon we’ll all be wearing the same outfit while being very comfortable with our robots. But that doesn’t mean we need to be nice to them!

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There’s some science fiction that suggests being nice to them might be a very sensible plan, mind you…


Just wait until they realise their fashion algorithm sucks, and outsource it to an observation centre in the cheapest labor provision area. Oh boy.

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because it is so damn perfect…

Yea, I used to love Phillip K Dick, until I figured out he was a prophet, and not a fiction writer!


My guess is that they honestly don’t think it’s important (because

they’ve become acclimated to the constant nature of it).

I hope so too, but I find it increasingly hard to be optimistic…

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(random rambling thoughts follow:)

Hippies and punks loosened things up in previous generations, and a lot of people no longer live in the small town where everyone knows each other, so I’m sure most of us are a bit less private than our parents who were less private than their parents. But the internet really opened up the floodgates - it let people share their secrets anonymously with all kinds of people all over the world and see that a lot of other people can relate to that thing that previously no one dared to talk about. Now people are comfortable opening up in the real world, or at least with real names, about things like sexuality or mental illness that in the past would have to be kept as a ‘dirty’ secret.

I don’t know what that has to do with having cameras film you getting dressed, but maybe just a general weakening of taboos, since we’re starting to realize that we’re all human. A lot of the older concepts of privacy were basically about putting up a false front to pretend to be better than everyone else and give the impression that you had no problems.

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