What Are Voice Assistants and Are They Safe?

How safe are Voice Assistants?

Voice assistants like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa have become increasingly popular over the past few years. Before you get comfortable adopting this tech, be aware of your options!

You may have heard of virtual assistants before, but voice assistants are quite different. If you’ve used Siri to text or have made Amazon Alexa play music, you may already be familiar! And this type of functionality has already significantly impacted daily life for many of us. If you’re interested in the voice assistants marketplace and are wondering what works best, let us lead the way!

What Are Voice Assistants?

For any business, having an assistant can be essential to fielding customer calls and managing specific tasks. But with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality technology, the capacities of an assistant are changing! While voice assistant benefits differ from virtual assistants, the emphasis is on communication.

They can streamline some aspects of business by using voice recognition and speech patterns to provide services. Often, all you need to make them work is your smartphone nearby and addressing them by their name, like Alexa or Siri. These smart devices are purely digital assistants that can perform advanced and simple tasks with voice commands.

How Do Voice Assistants Work?

It might seem like there are limits to the work of this type of assistant, but they can do a lot. Using smart speakers like Amazon Echo or your smartphone, voice assistants in business can help you with a wide variety of things. If you’re searching the Internet for information, they will be able to figure out the answer for you. They can also help to put reminders in your calendar or set timers and alarms. If you have smart appliances, your assistant can easily adjust the lights, temperature, or alarms in your house.

Voice assistants work predominantly by voice activation and by using the Internet. Like human personal assistants, you have to ask questions or give voice inputs to use the internet-supported voice assistants. Internet-enabled voice assistants like Qualcomm voice typically use the cloud to access Wi-Fi and function. Accessing the power and knowledge of the Internet by using our voice is changing life as we know it.

How Are Voice Assistants Changing Our Lives?

There are several voice assistant lists out there, but the following ones have the most prominent market profile:

  • Cortana – This voice assistant was created by Microsoft and is named after a character in their Halo series video games. Cortana can recognize natural voices, set reminders, and answer various questions using information from web browsers. If you have experience with Cortana, share it with us on Instagram at #getfamilyapp!
  • Google Assistant – This assistant is provided along with the Google Home smart speaker and can simplify specific daily tasks. While you can use your voice to manage Google Assistant, you can also type questions or commands using a keyboard.  
  • Alexa – Alexa is one of the most familiar names in the market. In addition to playing music and providing the news and weather, Alexa can interact in various languages!
  • Qualcomm Voice Assistant Qualcomm AI Engine can quickly learn an individual’s speech and voice patterns with hardware-accelerated audio capabilities. These capabilities help to make the assistant more dependable and secure. In addition, Qualcomm’s Contextual Audio Detection also picks up on the noises in the user’s environment and then intelligently, selectively, and intuitively determines the appropriate action to perform. Qualcomm Voice Assistant utilizes a practical ultra-low-power usage model that allows the device to possess an always-on keyword detection.
Voice Assistant Types
Voice assistants come in all shapes and sizes.

How Safe Are Voice Assistants?

Like anything to do with the Internet, people have many security issues and privacy concerns with this technology. From a security standpoint, hacked voice assistants can create problems for a home or business. If you are using a voice assistant, be careful not to link it to your locks or security systems. Someone may be able to disable them with their voice alone. It’s also essential to have a PIN associated with purchases, as someone may be able to buy things using this technology. While there are private data access concerns, companies should continue adopting improved security measures in the future.

The main privacy concern with voice assistants is the fear that the device is always listening. Approximately 40% of voice assistant users worry about who is listening and how much of their information is collected. The device is technically always listening passively. However, the AI only starts actively listening and processing information after it hears its keyword such as “Alexa,” “Hey Siri,” and “Ok Google.” 

If you decide to use a voice assistant in business, staying on top of your local privacy laws is essential. You will also have to be aware of privacy laws in your customers’ countries. Many companies that own these AI technologies also require businesses to create privacy policies if they intend to use their technology or develop software that interacts with their AI’s interfaces. For example, developers may incorporate Google Assistant into their apps or devices. But, you must have a Privacy Policy” that “comprehensively and accurately disclose[s] all of your privacy practices.”

The moral of the story, do some legal research before implementing any AI voice assistant into your business model. 

Voice Assistants in the Workplace
Be careful with voice assistants in the workplace.

To Infinity and Beyond

Recent changes in technology are making things possible that have never been before. Whether you want to change your music or operate your smart appliances, a voice assistant can help. Just keep in mind the risks associated with this technology and weigh them before deciding how much you want to use them in your daily life.

Do you have any tips for those using voice assistants? Share your ideas with others in our comments and on social using #getfamilyapp! Whether Alexa, Cortana, Qualcomm, or Siri, there are many ways this AI technology may make your life a little easier!

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