Google Now, Recording Your Voice

What Google Knows About Your Voice Will Surprise You

Based on the direction that personal computing technology is taking, you can expect to spend a good portion of 2017 talking to a smart device, and you can also expect that your conversations will be recorded and analyzed.

The rise of virtual assistants such as Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana and Amazon Alexa is prompting many users to control their personal and household devices by voice. As the Amazon Echo line of smart speakers has shown, voice and audio control interfaces are the future of personal computing, and the silent leader in this regard is Google.

For some reason, Google has chosen to develop a virtual assistant devoid of personality. We know that Apple and Microsoft have made their virtual assistants female and witty; Google, on the other hand, offers an incredibly powerful assistant with a female voice and no other virtual traits.

The Google Assistant has been around since the days of the defunct GOOG-411 telephone service. As of late 2016, the Google Assistant is part of Google Now, Google Allo and the Google Search App; all of these apps favor voice control and hands-free searching. Once you get the hang of using an app such as Google Now, you will never look back at entering calendar items by hand or typing search queries.

Google is extremely efficient in terms of offering voice control to users of Android devices. With an app such as Google Now, users simply have to say “OK Google” for their smartphones and tablets to start actively listening. A phrase such as “will it rain tomorrow?” will deliver not only the chance of rain but also a full forecast.

What you may not be aware of is that all your voice commands are being recorded and analyzed for the purpose of improving the quality of Google’s services. In fact, you can access https://myactivity.google.com/myactivity to see all the conversations you’ve had with your device.

While reviewing your Google voice and audio activity, you may be surprised to find conversations that you do not recall ever having with your Android device. This usually happens when you tap or click on a button by mistake, or when you say something like “day noodle” and the Google Assistant comes to live, thereby recording your speech.

Your voice interactions with Google are used in machine learning technologies to further the development of artificial intelligence and virtual assistants. It is not like your conversations are being monitored by technicians; however, you may want to be careful about what you say to your smartphone in the future.

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