Data & Society > our work > blog posts > Listening Machines, and the whether, when and how of new technologies

EthanZuckerman.com | 06.15.15

Listening Machines, and the whether, when and how of new technologies

Ethan Zuckerman

Excerpt: “As one of the speakers put it (we’re under Chatham House rules…), listening machines trigger all three aspects of the surveillance holy trinity: they’re pervasive, starting to appear in all aspects of our lives; they’re persistent, capable of keeping records of what we’ve said indefinitely, and they process the data they collect, seeking to understand what people are saying and acting on what they’re able to understand. To reduce the creepy nature of their surveillant behavior, listening systems are often embedded in devices designed to be charming, cute and delightful: toys, robots and smooth-voiced personal assistants.”

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