My thoughts on Alexa’s Noah Function and The AI movement.

Noa’s new Alexa skill has human narrators read news from NYT, FT, Economist & others

Noa’s new Alexa skill has human narrators read news from NYT, FT, Economist & others


— Read on techcrunch.com/2018/12/31/noas-new-alexa-skill-has-human-narrators-read-news-from-nyt-ft-economist-others/

I think this is a fairly useful innovation, yet it seems to lack the genuine feeling of innovation. Are they really doing anything new?

Bots that can read speech to us are nothing new. Consider Microsoft Sam or Microsoft Anna, which you may have once selected as your computer’s default voice before loading it with a list of obscenities for the amusement of you and your dumb teenage friends.

Also consider Siri’s long known ability to fetch certain songs or search results; is combining these technologies really that praiseworthy? To be completely honest this is something I assumed Alexa would have been able to do at launch.

Regardless I still have the highest hope for Alexa out of the current AI mascots. The feature that allows any purchaser can program new functions into it opens up a whole world of possibility that I don’t think Cortana or Google Home can even come close to.

While Siri’s bot is pretty damn smart in comparison to the other two as well, it’s extremely unlikely that Apple would ever permit customers the ability and API to add new functions and intentions to Siri.

I can only imagine what kind of crazy feats Alexa will be capable of once people have been messing around with learning interface for a considerable while. Before long she’ll be scheduling our doctors appoints, trading our stocks, starting our car, cleaning out our emails and reciting verses of our holy text of choice before dinner.

Though I love Alexa’s programmability, learning about her automatic self-learning and development skills left me a bit unsettled. Very generally speaking I think we should try to keep AIs dependent on sentient input to execute learning mechanisms. I’m not entirely certain what level of intelligence an autonomously motivated and potentially subversive AI reach, but I’m not sure I care to find out either.

Why do we need to keep making robots more intelligent in the first place? Wouldn’t we derive more benefit and harbor less consequential risk if we purely focused on making them more pragmatic?

Maybe I’m a sketch ball but some of the strange occurrences documented with Alexa and Google Home have left me passively frightened; that’s a story for another day though. Thanks for reading don’t forget to like, comment, share, subscribe, brush your teeth, floss and look both ways before you cross!

-Peace off

Noa’s new Alexa skill has human narrators read news from NYT, FT, Economist & others

Noa’s new Alexa skill has human narrators read news from NYT, FT, Economist & others


— Read on techcrunch.com/2018/12/31/noas-new-alexa-skill-has-human-narrators-read-news-from-nyt-ft-economist-others/

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