One day in 2017, Alexa went rogue. When Martin Josephson, who lives in London, came home from work, he heard his Amazon Echo Dot voice assistant spitting out fragmentary commands, seemingly based on his previous interactions with the device. It appeared to be regurgitating requests to book train tickets for journeys he had already taken and to record TV shows that he had already watched. Josephson had not said the wake word – “Alexa” – to activate it and nothing he said would stop it. It was, he says, “Kafkaesque”. This was especially interesting because Josephson (not his real name) was a former Amazon employee. Three years earlier, he had volunteered to sit in a room reciting a string of apparently meaningless phrases into a microphone for an undisclosed purpose. Only when Amazon released the Echo in the US in 2014 did he realise what he had been working on. He bought a Dot, the Echo’s cheaper, smaller model, after it launched in 2016, and … [Read more...] about ‘Alexa, are you invading my privacy?’ – the dark side of our voice assistants
NBA players who excelled during the first part of their career retain more of their skill as they age, scientists have found. They also displayed a slower decline in performance after the peak of their career. That's according to researchers at the University of Oxford, who studied the interaction between ageing, development and deterioration. Scroll down for video Luka Doncic of Dallas Mavericks (pictured) smiles during the game against the Toronto Raptors. Since entering the NBA this year, he has been a revelation. He recently became the youngest player ever to record a 30 point triple-double. players that start their careers well experience a slower decline in performance after the peak of their career. The findings, published in the Springer journal Behaviour Research Methods, could help predict a sportsman's performance - and the rate of his decline - over his career. Dr Nemanja Vaci and colleagues analysed data from a total of 2,845 players over 50 … [Read more...] about Basketball stars that shine early in their NBA careers, like Luka and LeBron, have better careers and stay skilled for longer, scientists claim
A cheeky nine-year-old schoolboy used his Amazon Echo smart speaker to cheat on his maths homework. Bryce Gormanley from Dalmellington, Ayrshire, was caught secretly using the virtual assistant by his stunned mother Leanne. In the video, nine-year-old Bryce is seen sat on his living room floor posing multiplication questions to 'Alexa'. Bryce Gormanley (left) from Dalmellington, Ayrshire, was caught on camera by his mother Leanne as he used his Amazon Echo smart speaker to cheat on his maths homework As the video, taken last Wednesday, begins, the automated voice can be heard saying: 'Four times three is twelve.' Bryce quickly jots down the answer as a gobsmacked Ms Gormanley continues to film the scene, raising her eyebrows in disbelief. Bryce goes on, asking: 'Alexa, eight multiplied by four?' As Alexa gives him the answer again, Ms Gormanley shakes her head and manages to stifle a chuckle. RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next … [Read more...] about ‘Alexa, what is eight times four?’ Horrified mother catches her son, nine, cheating on his maths homework with the help of Amazon Echo smart speaker
Ed Pilkington’s reference to a “21st-century Dickensian dystopia” (The worldwide tech revolution digitising welfare systems and punishing the most vulnerable, 15 October) is spot-on. How prescient was Dickens’s depiction of the nightmare Circumlocution Office in Little Dorrit. It’s hard to believe that common sense is so completely absent among those tasked with running the country and evolving systems, but sadly it’s all too clear.Dr Brigid PurcellNorwich • The alarming levels of actual and potential incursions into our privacy detailed in your article (Is it time to turn Alexa off for good?, G2, 9 October) prompted me to remember with something akin to nostalgia the days when there was feverish debate on the merits or otherwise of issuing identity cards in the UK.Bill WhiteLeeds • Ugo Monye (15 October) calls on rugby “to be more ambitious” and invites us to take a wider viewpoint when he asks: “How about Japan joining … [Read more...] about Alexa, do you recall the ID card debate?
AFL Women's star Tayla Harris has shown off her boxing skills and won the Australian Female Middleweight Title after a second round knockout. The fight was held at the Melbourne Pavilion on Friday night and was scheduled to last eight rounds. However, 22-year-old Harris outmatched kickboxing star Margarite Butcher, knocking her out in just two rounds. AFL Women's star Tayla Harris has shown off her boxing skills and won the Australian Female Middleweight Title after a second round knockout against her opponent Harris said she was determined to make a statement during the fight on Friday night The Muay Thai fighter managed to land some punches of her own seconds before Harris finished the job off with a knockdown, forcing the referee to end the fight. Footage of the fight shows Harris knocking out her opponent before celebrating her win by jumping and cheering in the ring. In addition to her performance on the football field, Harris is an undefeated professional boxer with … [Read more...] about What can’t she do? AFL Women’s star Tayla Harris shows off her skills in the boxing ring as she brutally knocks out her opponent to become Australian middleweight champion