News

Apple’s Siri listens to private conversations, sexual adventures

Knows your sensitive and confidential information

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If you frequently use Siri or if you own a Siri-enabled device, you better watch what you say in front of it. A whistleblower came forward in a report by The Guardian stating that Apple contractors hear confidential information like medical details, drug deals, and even sexual acts between couples through Siri.

The Guardian has learned that the tech giant has contractors around the world that help in “grading” Siri. These contractors provide quality control by identifying if the activation of the voice assistant was accidental, or if Siri was asked with a query that was answered appropriately.

Apple came into their defense and told The Guardian that “Siri responses are analyzed in secure facilities adhering to Apple’s strict confidentiality requirements.”

“Overheard” vs Intentional listening

However, there’s more to the story uncovered. The anonymous whistleblower expressed concerns about accidental activations. This means that these recordings aren’t meant to be heard, as people activate Siri indirectly in several instances.

For example, raising your Apple watch while speaking can activate Siri. Even the sound of a zip acts as a trigger. This leads to contractors accidentally hearing conversations containing sensitive information. Additionally, these Siri recordings are accompanied by user data which shows privy information such as location, contact details, and app data.

Furthermore, it seems that Apple Watch and HomePod smart speaker are the suspects for frequently mistaken recordings. On the other hand, Apple’s solution is to encourage the staff to report these accidental activations “as a technical problem”, with no other procedures to deal with the recordings.

Apple doesn’t seem to be the only one using humans to review recordings since Amazon and Google revealed to be doing the exact same thing on their respective AI assistants. However, we can wish for these tech giants to teach their assistants to listen to someone only when they’re spoken to.

Source: The Guardian

Apps

Google is working on a snoring, coughing detector

Might show up for the Pixel first

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Snoring can be a curse for you and the people you sleep with. Unfortunately, outside of anecdotal evidence, it’s hard to pinpoint how bad snoring can get. Some devices have developed features to detect and measure snoring. Google, joining other companies with the feature, is reportedly developing snore and cough detection for the Pixel.

First reported by 9to5Google, Google Health Studies added a new study exclusive for Google employees. The study specifically revolves around collecting audio during sleep. Google also explains that the study will eventually help Android build features that can help users fix their sleep quality.

According to the source, the upcoming detector will be a “bedside feature” that will measure nocturnal snoring and coughing. However, despite recording audio, it still promises to have the user’s privacy in mind. It’s expected that the feature will drop for the Pixel first before moving on to other Android devices.

Snoring detection isn’t new, of course. In fact, Google is already familiar with the feature, since Fitbit, a company that Google owns, offers the feature for some of its smartwatches. In Fitbit’s case, the feature contributes to the wearable’s entire suite of wellness tracking.

However, it’s a double-edged sword. While the feature can be helpful, it’s also a massive battery drain, since it requires the device’s power the entire night. Hopefully, battery efficiency is a focus in Google’s eventual take on the feature.

SEE ALSO: Google’s AI created these photos, and they look so real

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Gaming

PSVR2 is launching with over 20 major games

Horizon VR game still headlines

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Samsung had a lot to say during its latest investors meeting. Besides unveiling its general plans for the future, the company also teased the devices that are coming in the near future. For a while now, that future lineup includes the PSVR2. If you were thinking of buying the virtual reality wearable for yourself, Sony has good news for you. The PSVR2 will have over 20 major titles on launch.

Naturally, if you buy a pricey piece of hardware, you usually want it to come with a good set of ways to use it. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case with new gaming devices. For example, the PlayStation 5, despite being out for almost two years, still doesn’t have the most expansive lineup of games that every gamer must play.

Thankfully, the PSVR2 won’t follow in the same, sparse footsteps of the gaming console. According to the meeting (via Video Games Chronicle), the wearable will launch with over 20 first- and third-party games. The headliner is still Call of the Mountain set in the Horizon universe, of course. Unfortunately, the presentation didn’t reveal any other games in the lineup.

If anything, virtual reality gaming has been growing for a while now. In recent history, the market has seen notable titles like Half-Life: Alyx and Beat Saber.

After facing a potential delay, the PSVR2 is expected to launch sometime next year.

SEE ALSO: PSVR2 might be delayed to next year, report says

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News

Foldable Pixel reportedly delayed to next year

Google isn’t happy

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For years, Samsung has been the most dominant force in the foldables market. Though other brands, especially Chinese ones, have brought their own devices to the table, Samsung’s lineup of foldables are undeniably strong, flaws and all. That said, other giants are working on their own entrants. However, it will take a lot longer before the crowd really fills up. According to reports, Google has postponed its own foldable Pixel for next year.

Reported by TheElec, Google has reportedly decided to delay the first foldable Pixel. The company was supposedly unhappy with the current iteration of its prototypes. The next target launch window is next spring. Notably, the device, which has been in development since last year, is sourcing its screen from Samsung Display.

Currently, not much is known about the foldable device yet. Previous reports have speculated on a 7.57-inch main screen (and a 5.78-inch screen when folded), though. A more recent one has also dropped “Pixel Notepad” as a potential name for the device.

Regardless of the status of its foldable Pixel, Google is enjoying a lot of success with its new lineup of smartphones. Last year, the Pixel 6 series refreshed the company’s slate of devices, bringing new hype for the company. This year, Google is continuing that trend with the Pixel 6a and the upcoming Pixel 7 series.

SEE ALSO: Upcoming Google foldable might be called Pixel Notepad

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