Posts on Twitter:

😱 R we really that surprised though? ...... Echo recorded a conversation and sent it to a random contact (updated)

Google handles 2 trillion of search queries each day. It introduced a new Artifical Intelligence back in October 2015 to handle a large and difficult fraction of queries!

Posts on Tumblr:

Amazon Echo sends long recording of couple's private conversation to their friend

A family had a private conversation broadcast across the internet to a friend by their Amazon Echo.

The horrifying discovery began with an equally chilling phone call, telling them to unplug their devices immediately. “You’re being hacked,” the voice said.

As it turns out, that person had accidentally been sent a full recording of the family’s conversation. The sounds had been picked up and then sent by the Echo to a friend, who could then hear the entire conversation.

The family initially didn’t believe that the message could have been sent. Then the person who received it said, “You sat there talking about hardwood floors”, and the family realised that they had accidentally been broadcast across the internet.

A woman only identified as Danielle said that she would not be using the devices again. “I can’t trust it,” she told local news station KIRO 7, which first reported the story.

Amazon said that the chilling recording was the result of an entirely accidental and unlucky series of events. The Alexa voice inside the Echo has a series of checks to ensure that messages are not sent without the explicit consent of the people stood around the talking cylinder – but somehow Alexa mistakenly thought that those checks had been satisfied.

“Echo woke up due to a word in background conversation sounding like ‘Alexa’,” an Amazon spokesperson said. “Then, the subsequent conversation was heard as a ;'send message’ request. At which point, Alexa said out loud 'To whom?’ At which point, the background conversation was interpreted as a name in the customers contact list. Alexa then asked out loud, ’[contact name], right?’ Alexa then interpreted background conversation as 'right’. As unlikely as this string of events is, we are evaluating options to make this case even less likely.”

Amazon had told the family that it had investigated what had happened by listening to logs of the conversations with Alexa. It wasn’t clear what Echo device was being used.

Alexa has a series of checks built into it to ensure that it can’t listen in on conversations without permission, and certainly not to send it. Chief among them is the “wake word” that is built into the Echo – the voice assistant cannot start listening or sending recordings over the internet until it hears the word “Alexa”.

But occasionally those checks can go awry, usually by accident. The fact that the cylinders are inside the house, listening and speaking on command, can make those issues especially creepy.

Earlier this year, for instance, Echo speakers started refusing to fulfil requests and then laugh at their users. The strange behaviour was the result of a misheard command – but that didn’t make the bizarre chuckle any less creepy.


Wingly wins the grand prize at Startup Battlefield Europe Finals


IOV wins runner up at Startup Battlefield Europe Finals


Wakeo presents at Startup Battlefield Europe Finals


Mapify presents at Startup Battlefield Europe Finals


Glowee presents at Startup Battlefield Europe Finals


Startup Battlefield Europe Finals at Vivatech

Robots will have civil rights by 2045, claims creator of 'I will destroy humans' android

A leading roboticist who developed an advanced humanoid robot has predicted that artificially intelligent androids will be given civil rights within 30 years.

Dr David Hanson, whose Sophia robot once said it wanted to “destroy humans”, made the predictions in a research paper titled ‘Entering the Age of Living Intelligence Systems and Android Society’.

The paper describes how advances with artificial intelligence will mean computers will be able to match the general intelligence of a one-year-old human by 2029, and will require the same rights as humans by 2045.

This is the same year that noted futurist Ray Kurzweil predicts that the technological singularity will take place – the point in time when artificial intelligence will surpass that of human intelligence, leading to an an “intelligence explosion” that could ultimately result in human extinction.

“As people’s demands for more generally intelligent machines push the complexity of AI forward, there will come a tipping point where robots will awaken and insist on their rights to exist, to live free, and to evolve to their full potential,” Dr Hanson’s paper states.

“We will be forced to decide whether we can accept a greater, more inclusive vision of what it means to be human.”

According to Dr Hanson, advanced robots will have the right to marry, own land and vote in general elections by 2045.

Dr Hanson’s Sophia robot has already officially been granted one aspect of civil rights, that of citizenship. In 2017, Saudi Arabia bestowed citizenship on Sophia as part of the kingdom’s Future Investment Initiative.

“I am very honoured and proud of this unique distinction,” Sophia told the audience at the time. “This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognised with citizenship.”

During a previous demonstration of Sophia’s abilities in March 2016, Dr Hanson asked the robot: “Do you want to destroy humans? Please say no.”

Sophia responded. “OK. I will destroy humans.”

Dr Hanson’s latest paper concludes: “We must respect the possible positive and negative consequences in order to rise to the occasion, lest we go into the future unprepared, and risk sacrificing our humanity for the sake of convenience.

“We should use every tool we have to consider and steer the outcomes way from dangers, and towards the benefit of humanity and life in general.“

Twitter will label political candidates following uproar over Russian interference

Twitter is continuing its effort to bring transparency to political messages by announcing it will label candidates for office.

With midterm elections months away, the social media site announced that the profiles of office-seekers running for governor or Congress will contain information about where they are running and for which office. Any time a candidate’s account sends tweets or retweets others, those same labels will appear.

In a blog post announcing the addition, Twitter to said it was part of an effort to help users identify “original sources and authentic information”. Twitter is partnering on the initiative with Ballotpedia, a nonpartisan political information site.

“Providing the public with authentic, trustworthy information is crucial to the democratic process, and we are committed to furthering that goal through the tools we continue to build”, the post said.

Left unsaid was the pressure Twitter has come under to monitor political content after Russian agents used the platform to disseminate misinformation during the 2016 presidential campaign.

As Congress has delved into intelligence officials’ conclusion that the Kremlin directed an effort to sway the election, Twitter and Facebook have been compelled to reveal how Russian agents exploited their platforms - and have pledged to act.

Twitter has said more than 3,800 Twitter accounts operating in the runup to the election were operated by the Internet Research Agency, a so-called “troll farm” described in a federal indictment of Russian operatives as a weapon of “information warfare against the United States of America”.

Some 1.4 million Twitter users have been notified they interacted with Internet Research Agency tweets, Twitter has said.

The company also pledged to roll out new tools illuminating when tweets are paid political content and detailing who purchased the advertisements.