You’ll never escape the clutches of Alexa now!
There are a lot of people who shop at Amazon because they’re interested in saving money, however they don’t trust the company. While some readily put an Amazon wiretap in their house, otherwise known as an Echo, others strangely feel like it’s a way for the online retailer to know even more about their intimate life details. For those people, learning that BMW will be using Amazon Alexa for its next-gen voice assistant technology might make them reconsider that 3 Series they’ve always wanted.
Learn how your car is spying on you here.
Don’t tell BMW this. The Bavarians put out an enthusiastic yet shockingly non-wordy press release on the topic (Germans are famous for their novella press releases). They seem to feel having Alexa onboard in your luxury car will be a strong selling point.
Consider this: BMW is the same automaker which thought people would be okay with paying a subscription fee to unlock features like heated seats in their vehicle. It would be fair to wonder if there’s a bit of an echo chamber magnifying some of the worst group think going on in the upper echelons of the company – that would explain why the kidney grilles have grown comically large.
Back to Alex wiretap in your car: it’s supposed to be great because you can just ask the Amazon artificial intelligence questions or give requests in natural language. It’s always annoying when an AI requires you to use stiff, unnatural verbal queries to do simple things, making using the tech not so simple. Still, thinking about how AIs are becoming more advanced isn’t all sunshine and flowers for anyone who fears a rise of the machines in the future.
Even more realistic of a threat is Amazon using audio recorded through your handy-dandy BMW voice assistant to figure out how to target market you better. If after you get your new BMW in about two years or so you notice you or your spouse’s spending habits on Amazon drastically increase, it’s pretty safe to assume there’s some manipulation going on. But at least you can figure out where the nearest sushi restaurant is without having to tap on the touchscreen a million times while trying to not rear-end the SUV in front of you.
Image via BMW