Recent reports have surfaced claiming that Amazon, Google, and Apple have been providing select employees with audio recordings from the respective smart assistants. Each business confirmed the practice but claimed the human review was for improving performance.
All three companies have since released statements ensuring customers that their privacy was not violated. Google and Apple have since disabled human review for the time being while Amazon has added an opt-out setting to its website and Alexa mobile app.
If you want to turn off Amazon’s human review, go to “Settings” on the company’s website or in the Alexa mobile app and then choose “Alexa privacy settings”. From there, go to “Manage how your data improves Alexa” and then toggle off “Help improve Amazon services and develop new features”. [Bloomberg]
In Other News
- Reply to WhatsApp and Slack Messages with the Google Assistant: The Google Assistant has been able to read and reply to SMS messages for the last several months, and now it can do the same thing with third-party apps. After notification access has been granted to the Assistant, saying, “read my messages,” will bring up a card with your last incoming message, have the device read it back to you, and then offer the option to dictate a reply. The feature is rolling out now but might take a couple of days to reach your devices. [Android Police]
- Samsung Announced the Galaxy Watch Active2: As a follow-up to Samsung’s fitness-focused wearable, the Galaxy Watch Active2 sports a minimalistic design packed with features such as a “digital” bezel and a built-in ECG. The device comes in 40mm and 44mm variants and runs Samsung’s latest version of Tizen OS with One UI. The Galaxy Watch Active2 ships on September 27 starting at $279. [Samsung]
- Audi Is Getting into the Electric Scooter Business: On top of getting into the electric vehicle market, Audi is looking to manufacture electric scooters for “multi-modal” travelers. The last-mile vehicle will weigh in at 26 pounds and will reportedly have a 12.5-mile range with a top speed around 12.5MPH. Audi plans to start selling the E-Tron Scooter by the end of 2020 for around €2,000 (~$2,235). [Audi MediaCenter]
Nasa announced that its Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) discovered a planet 31 light-years away that could potentially be habitable. The planet, known as GJ 357 d, is six times the size of Earth and orbits a dwarf star.
Due to the planet’s placement on the outside edge of the star’s habitable zone, it’s possible liquid water could be found on GJ 375 d’s surface. The planet gets the same amount of cosmic energy from its sun as Mars does from ours, but it’s not clear if there’s a dense enough atmosphere to hold in the heat.
We should learn more about GJ 375 d over the next six years as Nasa brings two next-gen telescopes to life. These should be capable of capturing more information about the planet and tell us if oceans or mountains inhabit the orb. [CBS This Morning]