April 11, 2019
Someone listens to what you say to your smart speaker with Alexa. Not only machines listen to it, no. A Bloomberg report reveals how there are “thousands of people” around the world who work listening, analyzing and annotating those recordings to train that voice recognition system and make it behave better.
This discovery confirms the suspicion that many users had about the operation of a system that is not only based on artificial intelligence systems and algorithms. Amazon employees actively participate in this process, and the company does not mention that participation in the public documentation it offers about Alexa.
In the frequently asked questions about Alexa, the company explains that “we use your requests to Alexa to train our natural language recognition and understanding systems,” but at no time does it clarify how this training occurs.
Bloomberg’s research reveals how thousands of employees in locations around the world – they mention Boston, Costa Rica, India, and Romania – take new-hour shifts to a “mundane” job that consists of listening to up to 1,000 recorded clips per hour. day to transcribe them and add annotations so that the artificial intelligence system feeds on that human analysis.
Keep reading: Not only machines listen to what you say to Alexa: Amazon employees also listen to improve their accuracy
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