Bloomberg: Alexa Captures Voices Then Fed To Amazon Workers Who ‘Transcribe’ ‘Annotate’ In ‘Human Role’

SEATTLE, WA. (THECOUNT) — Amazon.com Inc. employs thousands of people around the world to help improve the Alexa digital assistant powering its line of Echo speakers. The team listens to voice recordings captured in Echo owners’ homes and offices. The recordings are transcribed, annotated and then fed back into the software as part of an effort to eliminate gaps in Alexa’s understanding of human speech and help it better respond to commands.

The Alexa voice review process, described by seven people who have worked on the program, highlights the often-overlooked human role in training software algorithms. In marketing materials Amazon says Alexa “lives in the cloud and is always getting smarter.” But like many software tools built to learn from experience, humans are doing some of the teaching.

Danielle, an Amazon Echo user in Portland, Oregon, says she was shocked to learn her Echo had recorded a conversation with her husband without them knowing, then sent the audio file to one of his employees in Seattle.

My husband and I would joke and say I’d bet these devices are listening to what we’re saying,” Danielle told KIRO 7, a local news station in Seattle, Washington, which did not report her last name.

She said the incident happened two weeks ago when the employee called them to say she’d received a strange voice recording of them.

Read the rest of this story on BloombergQuint.

Adam Levine Officially Off The Market

Maroon 5 frontman and The Voice judge, Adam Levine, is married..

Levine got hitched to SI model, Behati Prinsloo, in a wedding ceremony at Flora Farms in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico Saturday.

Adam Levine Behati Prinsloo 2

The two lovebirds swapped vows in front of their nearest and dearest, who were taken to the location by a shuttle from their hotel. Continue reading

Gwen Stefani Joins The Voice

No Doubt singer Gwen Stefani has officially joined season seven of NBC’s The Voice.

gwen preggo

Stefani is replacing Christina Aguilera, who is on maternity leave.

Stefani posted a simple photo of her hand holding a mic on her Instagram page, throwing up the “V” symbol for The Voice and captioning the pic: “It’s true! @nbcthevoice.”

NBC also officially announced the singer’s position in a press release, noting that Adam Levine and Blake Shelton will return alongside the previously announced Pharrell Williams. Continue reading

WATCH: The Voice GOES SILENT After Microphone Fails LIVE

Country crooner Kristen Merlin had “The Voice” viewers in the palm of her hand, that is until her microphone failed on live TV.

Watch the video of her performance below.

Country singer Kristen Merlin the voice

“I was right there, side stage,” host Carson Daly told TODAY, “and we were all looking at the monitor like, ‘Is it out?’ Sometimes it can go out in the house, but it doesn’t mean it’s out in TV land. By the time I got my mic to take to her, the song was (almost) over.” source

Continue reading

THE VOICE Finale Highlights And Season 4 Preview

Tonight was an well-rounded evening of performances and, of course, the dramatic end of The Voice, Season 3. A winner was crowned, some familiar faces returned, tears were shed and cars were given away… Did I mention Peter Frampton?

Check out the highlight clips picked just for you below, as well as a preview for Season 4 with Blake, Adam, Shakira and Usher.

THE VOICE:

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