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Amazon admits that employees are reviewing the "small sample" of Alexa audio



  Amazon admits that employees are viewing the "small sample" of Alexa audio

Most of the time when you talk to the Amazon Echo, listen to Amazon's voice recognition software only. But sometimes, Bloomberg reports, a copy of the audio is sent to a reviewer to one of several Amazon offices around the world. A person listens to an audio clip, rewrites it and adds annotations to help Amazon algorithms improve. . "We are only commenting on an extremely small sample of Alexa voice recordings to [to] improve customer experience."

Bloomberg hints at a significant number of workers who do such work. In Boston, Costa Rica, India and Romania, workers interpret up to 1

000 audio clips in a 9-hour shift

.

But Amazon could be more clear about the role of human reviewers. "We use your queries to Alexa to prepare our language recognition and natural language comprehension systems," Amazon says on its Frequently Asked Questions page for Alexa – without mentioning a human element.

Amazon told Bloomberg that it has strict privacy protections on the place is inappropriate use of the system. "Employees do not have direct access to information that can identify a person or an account as part of this workflow," said the spokesman. "All information is considered to be highly confidential and we use we are testing multi-factor authentication to restrict access, encrypt services, and audit our control environment to protect it. "In one case, two people heard what sounded like possible sexual violence, but they were told that it was not advisable to intervene. Employees could discuss what they hear with other employees in the internal chat service, and they can exchange clips with which they have problems interpreting – although the report also mentions files that are shared only because they they are "fun."

People who review

Bloomberg says that Apple's Siri also has human helpers. The company points to a white Apple privacy statement that describes how Apple uses an audio recorder from the customer's devices.

"The user's voice recordings are kept for six months, so that the recognition system can use them to better understand the voice of the user," says a white book. "Six months later, another copy is stored, without its identifier, to use Apple to upgrade and develop Siri for up to two years."

And Google's virtual assistant? "Some reviewers can access some of the audio tracks from their assistant to help in learning and improving the product," Bloomberg reports. "But this is not associated with any personal information, and the sound is distorted," says the company. "


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