Alexa on its way to the Microsoft Desktop

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
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Not really sure how this is much different from just having an Alexa spying device just sitting by your PC as there does not seem to be much added functionality, but now you now. Thurrott has the goods from CES.

Check out the video.

If you are looking for Alexa to control your PC, that doesn’t appear to be possible yet as it only operates within its current ecosystem. What this means is that searching your PC is still done with Cortana which puts you in an awkward situation of using two different assistants on the same piece of hardware.

For now, it looks like Alexa is locked to the new machines but seeing as it is only software, I don’t think it will take too long for it to show up in other places. Once we are able to get our hands on Alexa outside the CES show floor, we will do a deeper dive into the app and its functionality.
 
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Only if it listens to every sound I make and watches me constantly. Oh, and, of course, phones home constantly.
 

Rahh

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There is a huge misconception about these devices where those think they are transmitting data all the time. They're not...
 

heatlesssun

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There is a huge misconception about these devices where those think they are transmitting data all the time. They're not...

Obviously there is a lot of fear and distrust of these devices and services but I don't think attitudes in places like this are pervasive. Alexa and Google speakers were a popular gift with my friends and family. I actually got an Invoke as a present from my mother and sister. I do find this development interesting as Microsoft and Amazon are working on incorporating Cortana and Alexa into each other though that seems to be running late.

Even for basic stuff though these things can be seriously cool. But sure there's a lot of data sharing going on which is in part what makes this stuff powerful.
 

Gigus Fire

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I dunno. Between cortana and alexa, i'd rather have alexa if i had to choose between the two.

So yeah, as long as microsoft is pushing that on everyone, might as well have a choice.

And while they're not transmitting data all the time, they are listening all the time.
 

katanaD

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why hasnt there been more "offline" speech systems, like dragon naturally speaking, so you dont have to have everything go out to the web? I really want to build a voice controlled home system for lights, sprinklers, security, music etc, but I DONT want it to have to reach out to the web to do its job.
 

heatlesssun

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why hasnt there been more "offline" speech systems, like dragon naturally speaking, so you dont have to have everything go out to the web? I really want to build a voice controlled home system for lights, sprinklers, security, music etc, but I DONT want it to have to reach out to the web to do its job.

Leveraging the cloud is what gives these devices their power and that's the reason why this technology is much more useful and natural than a self-contained system. I've been using voice recognition on PC since forever. Sure some command and control and the ability to input text is kind of cool but able to set reminders that propagate across all ones devices, check the status of a package, order something, check a calendar, play some music, etc. all of those things need to be connected to work well.
 

Gweenz

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There is a huge misconception about these devices where those think they are transmitting data all the time. They're not...

I would agree with you that most of the fear about these devices is overblown. However, the temptation is there for these devices to be used for evil, either by hackers or greedy corporations. It's a bit like saying, "it's ok that we have so many nuclear weapons because they are not currently killing anyone". Their mere existence is a threat.
 

mbelue

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I love the idea of Star Trek reality where I talk to my computer.
Just my computer.

Something that doesn't need the cloud, doesn't need to index all my files and searches.

This cloud connected handicap for all these services just sours the idea.

Don't need "targeted advertising". No thank you I am not looking for a wireless mouse that looks like a cat.

I Google a lot. I buy as much as possible from Amazon. I have never had an item from either that was promoted or suggested that was what I wanted.
Why the hell can't these services realize I read 7 reviews on the same motherboard and suggest that?

So if these damn services can't figure out what I want based on my search history (that they've got anyways) why do I need to have a spy on the desktop to listen to me complain about the shit they get wrong?
 

DoubleTap

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I think I like this, but I don't want to buy a new PC to use it.

Would be nice to have Alexa access to music that originates in my PC instead of trying to connect it to a noisy line in jack.
 

DedEmbryonicCe11

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There is a huge misconception about these devices where those think they are transmitting data all the time. They're not...
I don't know about Alexa but if you don't turn off the web search features of Cortana it appears to send/receive constantly.
 

BSmith

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They make excellent trotline sinkers.

As far as being on my desktop,....why? Considering I do not have speakers connected any more and never had a microphone attached to my computer, I think it is kind of pointless.

All she would be doing is yelling, "Can you hear me now?" Taking up CPU cycles in the process. That bitch!
 

chaos4u

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I love the idea of Star Trek reality where I talk to my computer.
Just my computer.

Something that doesn't need the cloud, doesn't need to index all my files and searches.

This cloud connected handicap for all these services just sours the idea.

Don't need "targeted advertising". No thank you I am not looking for a wireless mouse that looks like a cat.

I Google a lot. I buy as much as possible from Amazon. I have never had an item from either that was promoted or suggested that was what I wanted.
Why the hell can't these services realize I read 7 reviews on the same motherboard and suggest that?

So if these damn services can't figure out what I want based on my search history (that they've got anyways) why do I need to have a spy on the desktop to listen to me complain about the shit they get wrong?


Because as your post demonstrates these services are not intended to aid you, as so many people believe. they are just the link that enables the companies to utilize you as marketing point to sell targeted advertising to other companies.

your actual needs and or desires do not matter because if they did you would get the motherboard your looking for the songs you are wanting to hear and the services that you desire. unfortunately there is no money to be made in that when they can get paid from 5 different mobo makers to show you motherboards , several different record labels paid to have their music forced upon you, and all the service providers paid to have their services constantly thrust upon you every day enticing you to switch.

in the end thats all these devices do is just further turn you into a dollar sign and dehumanize you even further.
 
Joined
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why hasnt there been more "offline" speech systems, like dragon naturally speaking, so you dont have to have everything go out to the web? I really want to build a voice controlled home system for lights, sprinklers, security, music etc, but I DONT want it to have to reach out to the web to do its job.
I'm seriously considering buying Dragon Naturally Speaking, for a completely offline voice-controlled PC.

The only reason its better to do it online, is that you don't have to teach the computer to recognize your voice.
They have so many different examples of peoples voices, that they can recognise much faster on their own servers.

I would rather take some time and teach the software to recognise my voice, as it will probably only recognise MY voice, and not other peoples.
 

auntjemima

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I'm seriously considering buying Dragon Naturally Speaking, for a completely offline voice-controlled PC.

The only reason its better to do it online, is that you don't have to teach the computer to recognize your voice.
They have so many different examples of peoples voices, that they can recognise much faster on their own servers.

I would rather take some time and teach the software to recognise my voice, as it will probably only recognise MY voice, and not other peoples.

Not sure about Alexa, but google will learn to use only your voice if you use it enough.

I say Ok Google to my phone a handful of times a day and now when someone else says it directly to the phone, nothing happens. It only responds to my voice.
 

FrgMstr

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They make excellent trotline sinkers.
Baited all my trotlines with red plastic tape till the Texas Game Warden made us stop. I came up with the idea of using carrot slices. Worked really good.
 

Comixbooks

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clippy-microsofts-talking-paperclip-is-back.jpg
 

Jagger100

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Only if it listens to every sound I make and watches me constantly. Oh, and, of course, phones home constantly.
That would be your phone. Alexa loops locally until you use its name, supposedly. No on has refuted that yet.

I swear people have different standards for these devices because they talk back.
 

Dr. Righteous

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Watch out.
Soon those Alexa pucks will be "Free for Prime Members". Not about advertising? It is ALL about advertiser.
 

BSmith

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If they make them free for Prime members,....I'll have to start scouting new locations for trotlines.
 

jnemesh

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I simply DO NOT understand why consumers would want Alexa, Google Assistant or Bixby in their homes! It's bad enough that these mega-corps are spying on our habits through our phones, navigation apps, and browsers, but people are seriously PAYING MONEY to have these companies spy on them with a microphone in every room in the house listening to every word spoken! MADNESS!

Edit: Also, GET OFF MY LAWN!!!
 

mbelue

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Messages
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Because as your post demonstrates these services are not intended to aid you, as so many people believe. they are just the link that enables the companies to utilize you as marketing point to sell targeted advertising to other companies.

your actual needs and or desires do not matter because if they did you would get the motherboard your looking for the songs you are wanting to hear and the services that you desire. unfortunately there is no money to be made in that when they can get paid from 5 different mobo makers to show you motherboards , several different record labels paid to have their music forced upon you, and all the service providers paid to have their services constantly thrust upon you every day enticing you to switch.

in the end thats all these devices do is just further turn you into a dollar sign and dehumanize you even further.

You aren't saying anything different than me.

I realize Google and Amazon aren't making suggestions based on what I want. The suggestions are sponsored by the marketing budgets of the companies that make the products.

I get it.

My argument is their advertising has terrible sell-through especially in the informed consumer segment.

Maybe these are fairy tales but some markets although small are being underserved with current mass marketing practices.

There are a portion of consumers that never buy based off these advertising. I would argue these algorithms aren't looking at the specifics these customers are looking for.

Your example of music is a fantastic example. Pandora was a great service to begin with. A user could start a channel on some criteria and then refine that through rating every song played. At some point they begin paid song suggestions. I for one stopped using the service. This rendered the service OBSOLETE for me.
Avril Levine doesn't belong with Amon Amarth and Cradle of Filth. Don't care if all 3 use "distorted guitars".

So in this example I listen to primarily heavy rock and metal. Had like 4 or 5 channels dedicated to specific subgenres. At no point do any of these songs that I reviewed have anything in common with pop punk music. A random inclusion of something from the pop punk variety gets immediately skipped or down-voted and station gets changed or website closed. Any idiot can tell that suggestion rendered the advertising useless. So no matter how much the was paid to place that song in front of a number of listeners some of them are never going to iTunes to buy it or the album.

Instead that advertising money should be spent to ensure a higher portion of songs played to users is from a specific major record label. Instead of giving users genres they have no history of listening to. Give them something in-genre from the record label that is sponsoring. There is much higher chance of sell through for that label.

Or my example of PC motherboards.
I was searching for an Asrock Ryzen motherboard in the sub$200 price range.
Instead of showing me Gigabyte motherboards for the x299 socket in the sub $400 price range, show me the Gigabyte X370 motherboards in the $200 range.
That way the sponsor Gigabyte gets something in front of a buyers eyes. Hell if they want to try and upsell an extra 25% it still makes sense as long as the products are comparable in purpose. Same CPU platform as searches for, same manufacturer as paid for by advertiser. But wrong platform, wrong price range is way off base.

My argument is these advertising algorithms target the uninformed or nonspecific buyer. So the money spent showing the ad is completely wasted when users are informed or specific. They are taking to my 70year old mom, not me.
 
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