Alexa Now Has Its Own Questions for You

Alexa Now Has Its Own Questions for You

It might not seem like much, but figuring out when to seek clarification requires considerable artificial intelligence , and it’s a step towards having machines learn from humans on the fly.“The ability for clarification will be a fundamental property of any good conversational artificial agent,” says Roger Levy, a professor at MIT who specializes in AI and linguistics.

America’s Top Science Journal Has Had It With Trump

America’s Top Science Journal Has Had It With Trump

To hear that in his own voice, I think, was one of the most devastating things that has ever happened to science.

Kids' Smartwatches Are a Security Nightmare Despite Years of Warnings

Kids' Smartwatches Are a Security Nightmare Despite Years of Warnings

Several of the watches had even more severe vulnerabilities, allowing hackers to send voice and text messages to children that appear to come from their parents, to intercept communications between parents and children, and even to record audio from a child's surroundings and eavesdrop on them.

Google Wants to Remix News Radio Just for You

Google Wants to Remix News Radio Just for You

Google has updated the service to create a more fluid listening experience, so that sitting through an entire session doesn’t feel like you’re just working your way through a hodgepodge of disparate stories.

The NSA and FBI Expose Fancy Bear's Sneaky Hacking Tool

The NSA and FBI Expose Fancy Bear's Sneaky Hacking Tool

The attack has some important limitations, but it's a good reminder that modern telephony still has more than its share of security holes—and 5G isn't looking that much better .Crooks Use 'Russian SIMs' to Outfox Law EnforcementMotherboard this week took a deep dive down the rabbit hole of Russian SIMs, also known as white SIMs, that let criminals spoof phone numbers at will, or in some cases allow for real-time voice manipulation.

Cheap, Easy Deepfakes Are Getting Closer to the Real Thing

Cheap, Easy Deepfakes Are Getting Closer to the Real Thing

To make them, Tully needed only to gather a few hundred images of Hanks online and spend less than $100 to tune open-source face-generation software to his chosen subject.

How to Get the Most Out of Signal and Encrypted Chat

How to Get the Most Out of Signal and Encrypted Chat

By doing so, they can now take advantage of Signal’s end-to-end encryption, which means that no one—not the government, your phone company, or Signal itself—can read the contents of messages as they pass between devices.

Games Don't Do Enough to Combat Toxicity at Launch

Games Don't Do Enough to Combat Toxicity at Launch

In early May, when Valorant was in closed beta, publisher Riot Games said it would make an effort to curb toxicity after several of the company’s female developers spoke out about harassment they’d received in-game.

How to Get Your Data-Cap Fees Waived During the Pandemic

How to Get Your Data-Cap Fees Waived During the Pandemic

AT&T announced a data-cap fee waiver on Sunday, saying, "As of March 13, and for the next 60 days, we will waive domestic wireless plan overage charges for data, voice, or text for residential or small business wireless customers incurred because of economic hardship related to the coronavirus pandemic.".

A Fast Walker Gets Stuck in the Slow Lane

A Fast Walker Gets Stuck in the Slow Lane

Life was too slow back home, and walking like a native New Yorker—briskly, with confidence—was something I was going to have to do if I was going to fit in.In those first weeks, I wasn’t walking enough to nudge the bar graph in the Health app up anywhere close to a mile.

What Is the Internet of Things? A WIRED Guide

What Is the Internet of Things? A WIRED Guide

Amazon introduces the Echo speaker, along with the Alexa voice assistant—a new way to control the smart home.Apple had introduced Siri, its own voice assistant, four years prior—but Siri lived on your phone, while Alexa lived inside the speaker and could control all of the “smart” devices in your house.

Greta Thunberg Takes on the World

Greta Thunberg Takes on the World

Over the course of the last two weeks, at the 25th Conference of the Parties in Madrid—referred to as COP25, an annual United Nations summit that gathers global leaders, scientists, and activists on issues of environmental justice—16-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg has commanded an unusual pull.

Trump Begins Paris Accord Exit, Devices Hacked With Lasers, and More News

Trump Begins Paris Accord Exit, Devices Hacked With Lasers, and More News

After months of threatening, President Donald Trump officially began the withdrawal process from the Paris accord—a pact signed by 200 nations, including the US, to protect the world against climate change.

Hackers Can Use Lasers to ‘Speak’ to Your Amazon Echo or Google Home

Hackers Can Use Lasers to ‘Speak’ to Your Amazon Echo or Google Home

Video: The University of Electro-Communications; The University of Michigan When they used a 60 milliwatt laser to "speak" commands to 16 different smart speakers, smartphones, and other voice activated devices, they found that almost all of the smart speakers registered the commands from 164 feet away, the maximum distance they tested.

Ford Screens Go Big, a WhatsApp Hacking Case, and More News

Ford Screens Go Big, a WhatsApp Hacking Case, and More News

That's how long scientists allowed frozen sperm to be in microgravity as part of a study on what human reproduction would look like in space.If you were buying a new car, wouldn't you want to have the best features, safety, and value for your money?

Ford Is Bringing Huge Screens—and Live Updates—to Its Cars

Ford Is Bringing Huge Screens—and Live Updates—to Its Cars

The bigger screens will allow Ford to show multiple applications (like navigation, phone, and radio) simultaneously, and to automatically configure their arrangement based on which the driver uses most frequently.The new screens will run Sync 4 and offer enough real estate to comfortably display multiple applications, configured to the user's liking.

Zuckerberg Doubles Down on Free Speech—the Facebook Way

Zuckerberg Doubles Down on Free Speech—the Facebook Way

Maybe the most powerful part of the speech was when he said, “I’m not going to be around forever,” and so he thinks it essential to deeply embed free speech values into Facebook so the company continues giving voice to people long after he’s gone.

The Tech Helping Dogs Learn to 'Talk' With Humans

The Tech Helping Dogs Learn to 'Talk' With Humans

But then the dog reaches around and his mouth tugs something on the yellow vest he’s wearing, and you hear it again.“My owner needs your attention!

Little Talk of Sustainability at Amazon's Big Hardware Event

Little Talk of Sustainability at Amazon's Big Hardware Event

Amazon’s annual hardware event on Wednesday was not unlike its product announcements from years prior: The company unveiled a dizzying number of new Echo speakers, showed off how it's improving Alexa through sophisticated speech technology, and even revealed a couple of skunkworks projects—smart glasses and a smart ring—at the very end of its presentation.

GM's Search for In-Car Tech Lands on Google

GM's Search for In-Car Tech Lands on Google

Sign up here !Android Auto and Apple Carplay, which let drivers project their phone’s interface onto the center screen, are each available in more than 400 car models globally; many offer both systems.

Hey, Apple! 'Opt Out' Is Useless. Let People Opt In

Hey, Apple! 'Opt Out' Is Useless. Let People Opt In

Right now it’s unclear what form Apple’s Siri opt-out will take; the company has suspended its voice data collection temporarily and says only that once it resumes, “users will have the ability to choose to participate.” Apple didn’t respond to a request for more specific information.

Hey Alexa, Why Is Voice Shopping So Lousy?

Hey Alexa, Why Is Voice Shopping So Lousy?

Market research firm Forrester recently tested the commercial capabilities of voice assistants from Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft. The researchers asked each voice assistant 180 questions about products and services, like "what brands sell liquid laundry detergent?"

Here’s Everything Apple Announced at WWDC 2019

Here’s Everything Apple Announced at WWDC 2019

For anyone still looking to interact with a fellow human being while wearing AirPods, Apple announced a sound-sharing feature, which allows multiple users to connect to the same audio source.

Apple’s Biggest WWDC Announcements in Two Minutes or Less

Apple’s Biggest WWDC Announcements in Two Minutes or Less

iOS 13: New and faster phone operating system with dark mode, redesigned reminders and Maps, and a new "sign in with Apple" option that won't share your personal data like signing in with things like Facebook or Google might.

Amazon Debuts a New Echo Show Amid Alexa Privacy Concerns

Amazon Debuts a New Echo Show Amid Alexa Privacy Concerns

And Amazon is announcing new privacy features for the web and for Alexa, as part of a larger effort to address the concerns of its customers.

Google May Have Finally Made a Truly Usable Voice Assistant

Google May Have Finally Made a Truly Usable Voice Assistant

CEO Sundar Pichai called that a “milestone” because it means software that traditionally lives in Google’s cloud servers can be installed in Pixel smartphones Google will launch later this year, allowing the devices to respond to a person’s voice much more quickly.

John Legend Is Your New Google Assistant—Listen for Yourself

John Legend Is Your New Google Assistant—Listen for Yourself

DeepMind says blind listening tests found the new technology reduced the perceived gap between real and fake voices by more than half, compared with prior methods like synthesizing sentences piecemeal from a library of speech sounds.

How To Make Your Amazon Echo and Google Home as Private as Possible

How To Make Your Amazon Echo and Google Home as Private as Possible

To delete en masse, go to Alexa Privacy Settings on Amazon's website and then choose Review Voice History .For Google Assistant, go to and click the three dots in the upper-right corner.

Ikea and Sonos Made a Speaker That’s Also a Lamp

Ikea and Sonos Made a Speaker That’s Also a Lamp

The new Symfonisk range of products from Ikea and Sonos includes a traditional speaker and a hybrid speaker-lamp combo.

The Genderless Digital Voice the World Needs Right Now

The Genderless Digital Voice the World Needs Right Now

But as designers make that choice, they run the risk of reinforcing gender stereotypes, that female AI assistants should be helpful and caring, while machines like security robots should have a male voice to telegraph authority.