The use of new technologies is spread along society nowadays. It is almost impossible to see someone without a smartphone in their hands. These technologies are part of our daily lives and they came to stay. But, what happens when some of these technologies can help in the most unusual ways? Do you know Alexa, Amazon’s system? It has helped to solve a murder crime. Do you want to know more? Keep reading!

What is Artificial Intelligence?

First things first. We live in a world with plenty of concepts nowadays. Data Science, Big Data…are some of those terms. But, what do we know about them? Do we know what Artificial Intelligence really is?

We can define AI as the area of computer science that permits the creation of intelligent machines. Those machines can work and think the way humans usually do. There are some characteristics that include the AI in their machines, such as learning, speech recognition, etc.

At first, it was a field that needed to be explored. Nevertheless, there has been an increase of investments in this area, especially coming from companies and governments.

Nowadays, Artificial Intelligence is part of our lives as users. One example is the use of voice assistants. Probably you all know Cortana, Siri or even Alexa, the one created by the company Amazon.

This area wants to develop machines so they can think like humans. This way, they will be capable to react to certain situations and to solve them. Thus, we will have time to deal with important matters. 

When we talk about AI, we must mention the different types that exist. One type is the so-called K-Mean type. It is the simplest one and it uses unlabeled data. What does it means? Well, the data has no defined categories.

We also can talk about the NN-type. It is based in neural networks. This type of AI follows the pattern of the human brain to replicate its functioning. Finally, we have the tree type. This express the idea that a complex term can be expressed by a series of questions.

How do voice assistants work?

Now we know what is Artificial Intelligence. But we are going to focus on an aspect of this technology. We are talking about voice assistants. 

Probably you know Siri or Cortana. Or you even used them before. You can ask them useful information or, as several videos on Internet show, you can use them for fun. Anyway, these machines have changed the way we use and see our smartphones. But, do we know how they work?

These applications can understand voice commands and respond to the orders given. They combine specialised chips, software and microphones. The assistant hears the order and it starts working. Sometimes is something like Hey, Siri. 

This means that the device is always hearing what is happening. It could raise some privacy issues as it has been highlighted several times.

Therefore, the virtual assistant must be connected to the Internet so it can search on the Internet or communicate with other smaller devices. The user can also ask the question without pausing. Yet, if the virtual assistant does not understand you question or don’t know the answer, you can try rephrasing it.

Moreover, these virtual assistants have been learning due to the conversations held with the users. This is a part of Artificial Intelligence. The machine can ‘learn’. Therefore, it will become more intelligent and will be able to solve more problems as it increases it memory.

As you can see, voice assistants are a part of our lives. They can help us and make our lives easier. But what happens when they become part of something more?

Alexa as a murder witness

Technology doesn’t cease to impress us. In the US, a judge in New Hampshire ordered Amazon to give any recordings made by an Echo device. This could have evidences of the murder of two women in January 2017.

According to the authorities, the company could have recordings that might be useful in the investigation of the crimes. Thus, Amazon has been asked to deliver those recordings to the court. The suspect pledged not guilty to murder charges and lesser counts of alledged crime scene tampering.

Yet, this is not the first time Amazon is involved in this situation. In 2015, police in Arkansas seized an Echo device as part of an investigation. Amazon provided the recordings after the suspect voluntarily agreed for the recordings to be sent to court.

I want to join!

Do you want to keep studying? Do you want to know more about Artificial Intelligence? Then, you can’t miss this opportunity. The University of Alcalá is offering a Master in Artificial Intelligence. Besides, will help the students to become experts in this field. Moreover, the teachers will help them to achieve their goals.

If you want to know more, don’t hesitate. Contact us for more information. We’ll try to help you and provide you with everything you need. We are waiting for you!

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