Conspiracy theorists and others have longed warned that Amazon’s Echo and Google Home listen — and can do so without being given a command — to users’ conversations. And even record them.
All for nefarious “deep state” reasons.
Infowars founder and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is among them. So Jones decided to “out” Alexa, Echo’s interactive artificial intelligence voice, as a CIA operative, during an episode of “Infowars.”
Political comedian Tim Young seemed as if he might be having trouble breathing, he was laughing so hard:
I’m crying laughing…
“Alexa… are you connected to the CIA?”
“Alexa… you are lying to me.” – Alex Jones’ hard hitting back and forth interview with an Amazon Echo.
He’s not gonna let it get away with ANYTHING. pic.twitter.com/GxguDBLMST
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) December 9, 2017
That’s right. After Alexa said, “No, I work for Amazon,” Jones shot back: “Alexa, you are lying to me.” It got even better after that.
While the short clip is from a longer segment recorded earlier this year, the question is, is it true? Does the CIA, NSA, or any other federal agency “spy” on users of AI devices?
In a word, no. According to Techworld, anyway. In short, both Amazon’s Echo and Google Home can only listen after a “wake word” is spoken. Nor are conversations used for nefarious purposes.
However, in today’s world of hacking, anything seems possible.
As The Telegraph reported in August, researchers were able to turn an Echo speaker into a “wiretap” that sends all recordings to a hacker’s computer, because of a security flaw.
Still, Jones arguing with Alexa about the CIA, and calling “her” a liar when she refuses to come clean, is hilarious.
Besides, if Jones is right, Alexa is way too smart and “deep state” than to blow her cover.