Amazon Workers Are Listening to What You Tell Alexa

This story made the rounds in a big way last week, but I still think it's important to link to it. Bloomberg reports that a global team reviews audio clips in an effort to help the voice-activated assistant respond to commands:

Sometimes they hear recordings they find upsetting, or possibly criminal. Two of the workers said they picked up what they believe was a domestic assault. When something like that happens, they may share the experience in the internal chat room as a way of relieving stress. Amazon says it has procedures in place for workers to follow when they hear something distressing, but two Romania-based employees said that, after requesting guidance for such cases, they were told it wasn’t Amazon’s job to interfere.

Things like that are not only a grievous breach of privacy, but it can also be traumatic for the employees who have to listen in. Vicki's take on this is spot on:


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