The answer seems obvious, but Amazon has started to ask whether Alexa users want humans to hear their recordings or not. Now, the assistant application has an option for anyone who wants to disable third-party audio review.
The information is Bloomberg, which revealed in April that there were thousands of paid employees to listen to what users said to Alexa. According to Amazon, they listen and transcribe the recordings to improve the assistant.
Amazon says that if the new option is enabled, “your voice recordings can be used to develop new features and manually reviewed to help improve our services”. The company also updated the Alexa app to let others know that they can listen to the recordings.
“We take customer privacy seriously and continually review our practices and procedures,” an Amazon spokeswoman told Bloomberg. The review of recordings by humans was also adopted at Apple and Google and was suspended at both companies.
Like Amazon, they relied on employees to make their assistants more accurate in speech recognition. Apple says it was reviewing 1% of the recordings and promised to suspend analysis by humans until a complete review of the program is done. Google, which claims to transcribe 0.2% of recordings, is expected to maintain the suspension for three months.