Last week, Amazon announced a new plan to have Alexa devices pre-installed into apartment buildings. The program is called “Alexa for Residential,” and it would allow apartment complex owners to buy the devices in bulk for a special price.
Liron Torres, Head of Smart Properties for Amazon Alexa, said that the devices installed through this program will have specific features for landlords and tenants.
“Our vision was to create a service that makes having an Alexa-enabled home accessible for anyone, regardless of whether they rent or own their home. Alexa for Residential goes beyond the smart home—it also enables property managers to provide custom voice experiences for their residents, including information about property amenities and custom services. We’re excited to be teaming up with IOTAS, STRATIS IoT and Sentient Property Services to start, and look forward to expanding this experience to even more apartment residences across the US,” Torres said in a press release.
The company insists that landlords won’t have access to the data collected by the Alexa devices, but the people who don’t want Alexa in their homes are also concerned about law enforcement or Amazon listening in.
According to a Bloomberg investigation last year, Amazon employees were listening to Alexa voice recordings and transcribing them. The company said that this process was necessary to improve its services.
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On the Alexa FAQ page, Amazon openly admits that they use speech recordings to improve its voice recognition systems.
“We use your requests to Alexa to train our speech recognition and natural language understanding systems. The more data we use to train these systems, the better Alexa works, and training Alexa with voice recordings from a diverse range of customers helps ensure Alexa works well for everyone,” the page says.
This fall, “smart apartments” that come complete with a personalized Alexa system will begin popping up across the US.
Amazon has also been working hard to ensure that there is an Alexa device in as many businesses and hotel rooms as they can manage.
Google Home, the other popular smart assistant device is not any better, they have also admitted that they listen in on the recordings collected from the devices as well.
IMAGE FEATURED: Karsten Neglia