‘Robot Alexa’ can become a spy in the home and raise privacy issues – link

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Employees expressed concern about the system’s relationship and what they described as a failure in effectiveness in facial recognition

Astro, Amazon’s new native bot, was revealed this Tuesday, 28, at the company’s online event. But the device has hardly hit the world and has already caught the attention of those who care about privacy. Concerns began to pile up after a leaked company document said the device was programmed to monitor noise and everyone inside the home, through a system called Sentry.

Information published by the American magazine viceIn internal documents, he says, Astro is called “Vesta,” in a sort of robot codename, and has a (Sentry) system that enables it to “investigate” noise and unknown people. What should then be a security device, as the company offers, becomes an in-home spy, the site says.

The Sentry is programmed to learn expressions and sounds to make Astro a housekeeper. This system requires a facial recognition mechanism and each time a face is not recognized as part of the family for 30 seconds, Ranger orders Astro to follow all steps of the “invader” immediately, until the system shuts down.

The functionality is an option that needs to be enabled, but once enabled, it’s a mandate for Astro to follow the unknown person and record sounds and photos while on patrol. The Amazon He did not specify whether this information is processed in the cloud or on the device itself, but it can be sent to the application on the bot’s owner’s cell phone – that is, there is a possibility of transmitting this information.

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Employees expressed concern about this system’s relationship and what they described as a failure in effectiveness in facial recognition. According to the sources he heard viceThe identification system is not working properly.

Additionally, people who have worked with the device claim that the product is not as efficient as Amazon has shown, in terms of security durability.

A source who worked on the project said, “Astro is horrific and almost certainly would have gone down the stairs if given the opportunity. Detecting people is unreliable at best, which makes the Homeland Security proposal ridiculous.” “The device seems fragile for something at a ridiculous cost. The rod (which holds the camera) has broken in multiples, locked in the extended or retracted position, and there is no way to bring the robot back to Amazon when that happens.”

Heard the other employees vice They showed the same concern for the quality of the robot’s materials and wondered if the project was ready for publication. According to a source who also worked on the project, the navigation is not the device’s strong point.

“For my personal views on the device, it’s a disaster not ready to be released,” he said. “They are falling apart, and also (in my opinion) a nightmare that becomes a bad sign for our society and how we trade privacy for convenience with devices like the Vesta.”

In response to the viceKristi Schmidt, Amazon’s senior director of public relations for devices and services, said the robot has been tested and studied by US universities, computer specialists and algorithm experts.

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“These characteristics of the Astro performance, camera rod, and safety systems are simply inaccurate. Astro has undergone rigorous quality and security testing, including tens of thousands of hours of testing with beta participants. This includes extensive testing of Astro’s advanced security system, which is designed To avoid objects, discover stairs and stop the machine when necessary,” Kristi explained in an email.

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About the Author: Osmond Blake

"Web geek. Wannabe thinker. Reader. Freelance travel evangelist. Pop culture aficionado. Certified music scholar."

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