Scientists Wonder if “Moral A.I.” Systems Will Lead Alexa to Rat You Out To Cops
While many people are already wary of the snooping abilities of "home assistants" like Alexa and Google Home, here's another reason to reconsider getting one.
The Daily Mail reports that academics at the University of Bergen in Norway discussed the development of an artificial intelligence morality, which might someday allow Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod to call the cops on you if they decide you're up to any wrongdoing.
The scientists speculate the devices would "weigh up whether to report illegal activity to the police, effectively putting millions of people under constant surveillance," the Daily Mail explained.
Dr. Marija Slavkovik, who led the research, warned, "If we want to avoid Orwellian outcomes, it’s important that all stakeholders are identified and have a say, including when machines shouldn’t be able to listen in. Right now only the manufacturer decides."
For the record, the companies insist their products don't listen in, unless summoned, such as when users say, "Hey Google..." However, examples seem to indicate that that's not entirely accurate.