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Posts Tagged: "Alexa"

Other Barks & Bites, Friday May 24: Coons Requests Info on Alexa Privacy, Congress Pushes 101 Reform, and Qualcomm Will Appeal Its Loss to the FTC

This week in Other Barks & Bites: Chinese state media pushes back on the United States’ claims of intellectual property theft; a bipartisan coalition from both houses of Congress releases a draft proposal of Section 101 patent law reform; Senator Coons seeks more information on Amazon’s privacy practices for Alexa devices; the city of Baltimore files a lawsuit over a scheme to delay market entry of a generic to the Zytiga prostate cancer treatment; the USITC institutes a patent infringement investigation of Comcast after several complaints from Rovi; USPTO Deputy Director Peters files a petition brief in a Supreme Court case over USPTO personnel expenses incurred during litigation instigated by patent applicants; and Qualcomm plans to appeal adverse ruling in Northern California antitrust case brought by the FTC.

Amazon.com: A Retail Giant With Major Counterfeit, Piracy and Data Privacy Issues

It’s not just counterfeits of gadgets or luxury fashion items available for sale on Amazon, lining the already deep pockets of Bezos. As we’ve noted in other reports, there are plenty of counterfeit items that mimic badges and official documents from law enforcement agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Secret Service. But a recent letter sent by the Federal Communications Commission in late May of this year indicates that Amazon is also allowing the sale of set-top boxes which falsely use FCC logos in the branding, indicating that the device is permitted by FCC regulation when in fact it is not.

Amazon’s Big Brother Technologies: Tracking Life Milestones and Predicting a User’s Future Location

With data privacy concerns at the forefront in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, it seems that Amazon isn’t completely in the clear when it comes to the security of consumer data on their platforms. Recent reports indicate that Amazon’s Mechanical Turk online worker marketplace was another platform targeted by the data collecting quiz application developed by Aleksandr Kogan, the Cambridge app developer behind the Facebook scandal. Data privacy concerns have also surfaced surrounding Amazon Web Services cloud platforms including inadvertent breaches of web-monitoring data stored on Amazon cloud services by private companies and the Pentagon alike. Amazon servers also collect voice recordings from consumers using its Alexa digital personal assistant which are also at risk of falling into the wrong hands unless a consumer manually deletes recordings through the Alexa app.

Tech Giants Maintain Dominance By Copying Technologies

Although it’s not illegal to earn a profit, unfair business practices in the pursuit of holding a monopoly over an entire industry led to the breakup of Standard Oil, especially the rebates from railroad companies for oil shipments which substantially lowered Standard Oil’s transportation costs relative to its much smaller competitors. Recent academic research has suggested that, while the U.S. government acted appropriately to stop the cartelization of an industry, Standard Oil was engaging in typical capitalist activity in securing better deals which optimized oil shipments. This would seem somewhat less nefarious than an outright copying technologies from smaller competitors in an effort to stave off competition.

Apple Files Patent for Recognizing Whispered Voice Commands

One digital assistant technology developed by Apple allowing Siri to respond to whispered voice commands is disclosed by U.S. Patent Application 20170358301, titled Digital Assistant Providing Whispered Speech… In some places, such as libraries or board meetings, the use of voice-activated digital assistants is discouraged because of the intrusion of sound, so this patent application would protect a technology that recognizes a user’s command, even when the user is whispering. The device would then respond in a similar whispered tone so as to be less distracting in quiet settings.

Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Apple will lead intelligent virtual assistant sector over the next few years

We’re three months into 2017 and already the early returns are showing that this year should be a banner one for intelligent voice assistant technologies. The 2017 Voice Report from VoiceLabs, a voice assistant app development firm, forecasts a total of 24.5 voice-first devices sold by the end of the year, increasing the overall footprint for such devices to 33 million in circulation. The report also indicates that specialization between voice assistants will become much more pronounced this year as the largest players in the field continue to develop their voice assistant technologies in ways that benefit their core business.

Intelligent virtual assistants will support one-fifth of all human interactions with smartphones by 2019

The next decade should see a major increase in intelligent virtual assistants with market research firms predicting that the market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 34.9 percent up to 38 percent between 2016 and 2024, reaching a global market size which could be as large as $12.28 billion by 2024. Industry sectors where virtual assistants will see major applications develop soon include banking, financial services and insurance, due in large part to the growth of mobile banking, as well as end-uses in the healthcare and e-commerce sectors.