Amazon Alexa, Echo and Other Tech That Could Uncover Your Partner’s Infidelity…
In recent years, several mainstream companies are releasing wonderful gadgets we can use as a personal assistant. These devices are known as “smart speakers” – a smart speaker will usually contain a virtual assistant (like Amazon’s “Alexa”) that uses voice recognition to respond to your commands. Users can do numerous different tasks via their smart speaker such as playing music, checking on the weather, creating weekly schedules, and even searching the web.
Devices such as Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod all fit this mould and are currently immensely popular with consumers. For the most part, these devices are completely harmless and provide us with entertainment, organisation, and positive enhancement of our lives.
There is, however, a slightly sinister connotation to these smart speakers – an aspect that users do not really consider. There is an aspect of privacy invasion and a feeling that we are living in a world where our actions are continually monitored and recorded. Devices such as Amazon Echo record our voice and conversations – this is something that can obviously be manipulated and used for nefarious means. It’s not past the realms of possibility to think that a smart speaker could be used to spy on partners and their goings on!
In this article, we take a look at how smart speakers could be used to uncover our partner’s infidelity, and what wider-reaching implications this type of device could have on our society and privacy.
How Could the Alexa Assistant be Used to Discover Infidelity?
You may wonder how a smart device such as the Amazon Echo could possibly be used to catch your partner cheating, but it is possible! Smart speakers are typically equipped with voice recognition technology and when you speak, your voice is recorded – the software then analyses your voice and speech, and determines what you have said. This is how AI systems such as Alexa can then respond to your questions and requests. You speak – your voice is analysed, and a response is given depending on the interpretation.
This voice recognition is generally active whenever the device is switched on – this means that your private conversations could be recorded without you even knowing! Some devices such as Amazon Echo prevent recording when in standby mode however which can limit exactly what audio is recorded. As you can see, this voice recording feature could aid those trying to discover their partner’s infidelity:
Using the “wake word” feature to record conversations
Some smart speakers have a specific activation word – this word is used to bring the device out of sleep mode and to start recording audio. If you suspect your partner of cheating, is it beyond the realms of possibility to consider changing the activation word to something different? Something that your partner is likely to use in conversation? The aim is, to then get your partner to unwittingly activate the smart speaker, thus allowing it to record their private conversations and catch them in the act.
Checking through recorded audio to find anomalies
Most smart speakers record audio and allow you to search back through those recordings. You could potentially use this to your advantage to find out exactly what your partner has been up to! Perhaps they have brought their lover back to your home and used the smart speaker to play a piece of music? Maybe they have checked their calendar or simply used the smart speaker at a time they were supposedly at work or away from home?
In short, if they have used their smart speaker in a dubious manner, you can play back the recording, and question them about it. How can they deny the legitimacy of a recording of their own voice? Some people may even go to greater lengths and purposefully trap their partners using their smart speaker or other technology!
What Does Alexa Mean For Our Privacy?
As you can see, devices such as smart speakers, and AI systems like Alexa actually present a myriad of potential security and privacy problems that most people will have never thought of. On the surface, these devices appear to be safe, harmless, and even a little gimmicky – certainly not something that could be used as a means of espionage!
However, when you look deeper and consider what a smart speaker can do, you can actually see a different side to this type of device. Whilst an Amazon Echo speaker or Google Home device might be a fantastic product, they can also invade your privacy and even record private conversations. If this type of product is used in a negative manner, it could potentially cause harm.
Some might say that smart speakers are a superb idea and help enrich our lives. Others, however, may feel that this type of product is yet another way that our lives are under constant digital surveillance. In an increasingly digitally orientated world, we are subject to a persistent barrage of personalisation, surveillance and harassment – it is as if our lives are placed under a microscope for the whole world to see.
We place our daily lives on social media. We subscribe to newsletters and answer questionnaires about our personal habits. We are subject to targeted marketing through cookies and tailored search preferences; we can download apps to trace the whereabouts and activity of our phone; we can even potentially use smart speakers to check up on our partners!
Where do we draw the line? Does our privacy actually matter anymore? These are serious questions and although a digital world allows for greater communication and connections, it can also have a negative impact on our own safety and security. Aside from this, a lack of privacy can also lead to mistrust, and an increase in paranoia and worry – how would you feel if you believed your every move and action was under scrutiny?