Will Siri or Alexa become your scary robotic bartender? (CNET's Open Tab)
Hey, what's up everybody?
Welcome to CNet's Open_Tab.
This is gonna be our Facebook live show, where we grab a few drinks Which we have done already because I'm a little drunk, I'm not gonna.
No, I'm not that drunk yet.
But, I'm here to tell you that we're gonna be wrapping up the week's tech topics.
My name is Jeff Bakalar here in our very exclusive c|net on [LAUGH] [INAUDIBLE] Wonderful lounge is our social media guy, Mr. Michael Serintina.
How are you, sir.
How are you doing?
Thank you for being here.
We should really be thanking you for arranging this.
This is all you.
And as well as executive news editor, Roger Chang.
Thank you for joining us.
Lovely to be here with you guys.
Drinking beer on an afternoon.
Back in the control room we've got Joey Kaminsky, and he made me say this, but he's going to be the bartender serving us questions from you who are watching at home or wherever you're at.
And again, we're not just gonna wrap up The week in text.
We wanna hear from you, we wanna get questions from you.
It's not just gonna be us talking, it's gonna be you talking.
So if you've got a question, comment, let us know.
Even if it's not about tech, maybe you have a weird brother-in-law-
[LAUGH] That you advice on, we'll fix that for you.
So I'm gonna toss now to Mike, he's gonna glide us into the Story of the Week, what do you got buddy?
Hey guys, so I wanted us to get a couple drinks together and talk about on voice assistance, like Siri and Alexa.
More and more companies are just getting to know us Not over drinks, but over what we do.
Over IMs and email.
And they're just getting more and more information to serve us, to help us.
But ultimately I wanna know what you guys think.
Is it cool that Siri and Alexa and everyone else is getting to know us that closely?
Or is it frightening that they are gonna know everything about what you're doing?
They'll know when you wake up, what you eat, You know, I think it's a little bit of both.
The paranoid part of me thinks that this is a bit frightening.
These are digital systems that can hear us, basically anytime.
There's no real way to tell if they are listening or not, even if you shut them off, and [INAUDIBLE] covering this stuff the last couple weeks is that friend or not, we kind of have to live with it because it's coming.
Everyone in these tech companies, they're all on A.I. right now.
It's the hot new thing and they're pouring tons of money into it so, whether I like it or not, Lexa, Siri, Cortana, they're all here to stay.
But don't you think we like
Put way too much sci-fi A.I.
Paranoia attach to them.
It's like, at the end of the day it's a robot.
It's not something that's like, I've become self aware.
I'm gonna steal all your money.
Yeah, it's less, it appears to be malicious, then it's more about all the data they are collecting right?
It's all our information, our preferences, when we wake up, when we eat, what we like to eat.
All that getting served out to some other 3rd party company that we we're not aware of.
It's not like as if it's google or apple I don't trust it's It's third parties that they are dealing with later on.
Right, it doesn't get creepy.
Like, searching on Google wasn't creepy until you started getting relevant ads served to you.
When that happened like ten years, whenever, that started.
When you'll be like, I've just searched for a new backpack and now I am getting served backpacks [CROSSTALK]
You need back to school supplies, your kids going back to school
So it's like once it crosses that creep barrier.
Is when you start to.
And now it's not just searches.
It's anything you do in your home.
And like let me count the scoop we had.
The apples [INAUDIBLE].
Purported Echo rival will have a camera with facial recognition.
It'll actually be able to recognize you, and see what you're doing.
It literally has eyes.
I mean, we're talking about superior vision-
Apple comes into your livingroom, into your bedroom,
That's when it starts to get kinda creepy.
Don't sit in Roger's seat, Jeff.
I don't know how I feel about that.
But, so like, what to you is the most, again, we talk about how like there's this sci-fi, paranoia, dystopian future of like, voice recognition and whatnot.
But what do you think is like the most realistic negative consequence?
I mean, the most realistic, again, is bad information getting leaked out to, not leaked out, but
But given two other third party advertisers, i'm the type that values my privacy.
People have different opinions on how much their privacy is worth.
But it seems like a lot of those rights are gonna be given up once we start using these social systems.
Once we start embracing them, right?
Once it become our part of our regular lives.
I'm gonna propose this question.
Do they even work that well?
Does voice recognition suck or not because when all that stuff started with calling up UPS and talking to the UPS voice.
That was terrible.
It's still terrible.
I don't wanna do that.
Some of them do.
If you go into Google, you just find everywhere you've ever been.
Because they're following everywhere they notice your phone is.
And if you were just wondering where you were last Tuesday, you just need to click it, and they'll know around where you've been.
I mean to just point, I think the interactions with these assistants aren't great,-
I mean that's why I really used an electron echo.
Right, and that's why no one ever uses X-box connect either, because it's trash,-
Right, which is also kind of creepy in its own way, but,-
I think it's getting better.
I think the demonstrations that Google showed off, that whole contextual thing with being able to say, what movie's playing?
What movie's playing tonight?
Get me tickets.
That's right now a computer can't figure out the context between those two questions.
Right, right, right.
> But sooner or later it will.
Once it become conversational and you're Speaking to the digital assistant like it's a person I think that's when we'll all start jumping on it privacy concerns or not.
What do you guys think about a story today about the three year anniversary of the Edward Snowden leak.
In it we have an interview with Glenn Greenwald and one of the big subjects in it was about how Privacy is what is going to be good for businesses and companies.
Do you think that that's going to become a selling point for companies, to be like, we keep your information safe here, here, here and here.
And then how much do we still trust this?
I think it already is.
I mean look at Apple, right?
Apple has sort of gone on record and said Security and privacy is our priority.
And they've gone and they stood up against the government and the whole battle with the FBI.
I mean, that's really sort of the combination of all of the stuff that's happened with Snowden.
I think it's the fact that these tech companies are now that emboldened to-
Defend our privacy against the government.
And that's another angle.
It's weird that his entire revelation
And has resulted in like a consumer facing like, it's part of the transparency.
It's going to be better now with companies that you'd trust your information with, not on the government side.
But just like Google is going to be more transparent about what they have about you.
But think about it like
Sit in a post Snowden era, people fundamentally search differently, at its very core, that has changed the world.
I think its really interesting when you have that mentality next to, like ' now it's everything you say' And before we start, before we went live, Mike, you kind of freaked me out a little bit.
In what way?
I don't know if you saw it on my face but I was pretty freaked out when you were talking about minding what you say all the time.
You know what I mean?
Like, if we all became celebrities.
Right, Where this is a constant hot mike wherever you go.
To me, I used to think, like they'll never get me in my house!
I could close the door and say whatever I want about the president, and there's something a little disturbing about the possibility.
And what month?
The mind boggles wondering what you're saying about the president.
Zach, well, let's see who, if the good guys win,-
But like Alexia isn't always [CROSSTALK] Clearly, of course
What I don't look like a Trump guy?
Some of the Iphones already in the office have Siri on all the time and is always listening for a buzz word and allegedly they don't activate unless they hear the buzz word but like
Yeah, you never know.
The always on capability is working, technically speaking they can be listening all the time That's part of the fear factor.
That's why I'm creeped out.
A lot of people who may be a little older, a little less trusting of technology, understandably so, have that notion of, well, no.
Nothing is safe.
Nothing you do can ever be safe.
And there was a point where I was like no, you're wrong, because it's always gonna be safer.
But then again, it's like, well, maybe, maybe not.
Maybe everything is inherently vulnerable.
And that something
Thing that kind of freaks me out.
I have a young kid at home.
I think about what the future he's going to live in.
And, I don't know, it would really freak me out if he turned 30 and all of the sudden Everyone's Google search history ever got leaked out.
And he was like, man what was my dad searching in 2016?
But that is a genuine fear.
Or maybe his own info between ages of 13 and 21.
Right, although my the cultural, the social mores change at that point
They all just have no shame at all.
They're like, whatever.
That next generation right now.
It's all about transparency.
It's all about sharing everything, right?
So maybe they don't get embarrassed at all.
Are we going to go into that?
Cuz I could go into that.
I have theories, man.
Well, I'm just saying, when you talk about generations coming behind us.
I'm older than you.
okay, you're a little younger?
So I feel like there's, and this doesn't apply to you because like it or not, you're part of
Part of our generation.
I think there's a generation maybe one or two behind us that's like there's not a real life and internet divide.
That has been flattened, like that is the same exact thing, and I don't know.
But interacting with your phone is as real as interacting with a person.
For a while now.
For sure, for sure.
So, you know, that makes me wonder where it's like There isn't this sort of reservation to be like, my God, that's going to get out, that's a private thing like I just said.
It's like the default is, I have to share it now.
There's no barrier.
It's just everything has been flattened.
That kind of freaks me out a little bit.
I don't know.
I don't know if it's good or bad.
I'm going to say it's good because I don't want to sound like an old guy.
[LAUGH] So it's great.
We're a hit.
It's good to remember though how to keep like records that are not on the Internet.
It's good, some kids are only on the phone on the time period.
Everything on the phone.
There is value to having intrinsic things that, like having a photo that's off-line or a document, like personal information that is not always done on a Cloud.
Cloud, it's the place.
Those are like quaint things.
Sure, it's quaint.
It's sort of like, look at that, you've got a fiscal photo,-
Or even like personal, real business documents, maybe you don't want them floating inside a G-drive.
Maybe you do want a contract of something, or a cause application, at least a copy of it, like physically on your desk,-
that way you know where it is.
I have no idea where my diploma is I lost it a long time ago.
I dont either.
I dont know wait a minute.
What am I doing?
How did I get hired?
Well see that, we dont have a standard.
You said it not me.
I'm just curious, bar tender Joey who's in the back
Doing god knows what.
Do you have any questions for us, do you have any questions you are going to share, or are you just going to sit there and not use the prompter?
We have one person curious as to why Siri only understand English, or, excuse me, Alexa only understand English.
Because Alexa's racist.
[LAUGHS]>> That's simple.
You said, that not me.
That's a softball.>> That was not me, that was Jeff Backlar.
That's a softball, that's a softball.
I like that he Any language.
Why is that?
Is it just because that's the one they went with first?
That's the [UNKNOWN], I mean, they launched the Echo in the U.S. It makes sense to go English first.
Obviously, their ambitions are go overseas.
I'm sure Alexa will be speaking multiple languages in a short time.
Right, yeah, Siri began with a few languages and expanded over time.
And it expanded, yep.
And then she got smarter.
And Siri was on a phone that was sold around the world.
I mean, the Echo is still
As popular as it in the US, I mean it's still kind of a US-centric product.
Yeah, predominantly sold in the US even.
But I don't know if the new ones are sold overseas yet.
I know some of the new ones taking a while.
I mean, I think they're slowly expanding that product, but it's largely here so it makes sense to start with English.
So let's talk about Alexa being included in that new Pebble core.
Yeah, they're adding that into Piddle's launching a 3-G enabled little button that could, essentially, in a way, replace an I-Pod shuffle, [INAUDIBLE] playlist and those buttons are programmable to whatever.
It's a weird way to say it, I don't know if I'm saying it the way most people do.
Wait, say that again.
Say it again.
Wait a second.
It's like I hear this weird, but I don't-
It doesn't seem weird.
Give me it one more time.
Right, take it through.
No, it's weird.
It's almost as if you're some how pronouncing both t's in that word.
Button, I love it.
Yeah, it's fine, it's [UNKNOWN].
Yeah, I don't think any less of you.
I feel like
Yeah, Thank you.
Yeah, they're adding as one of it's features that it's going to collaborate with.
And so that will be the first instance of Alexa becoming completely mobile outside of.
Echo Tap kind of has that, too.
But that'll be like on somebody's waist, and that's
This is slightly larger.
I mean, yeah, this is like a little button.
Say it the right way, Roger.
Wait, so now that thing's not independently connected to the internet, I thought.
They can, through-
No, it has a-
You've got a SIM card in.
Okay, well that makes sense.
So what else do we have?
What else do we wanna figure out about all this.
Because for me, I use.
The only thing I use They use voice for these days is voice to text.
That's, look, I said it.
That's what I do.
If i'm walking down the street i'm not trying to look down and get hit by a cab.
I just want to dictate my text and send it off.
I set timers a lot but I also discovered last night that if I ask it to make me, how to make a drink it will tell me, if I tell it
Siri how do I make a margarita, and it says the primary ingredient is tequila.
I'm like, well that's great information.
Now as the old man of the group, I rarely ever use any of the digital systems like Siri.
Maybe I asked for what's playing around
But that's it, I mean, I don't really [CROSSTALK]
Yeah Joe what do you think
What do I think about?
[CROSSTALK] Do you use them?
[UNKNOWN] took a [UNKNOWN] I use Siri
For like Google searches.
it's funny cuz I'll be like Siri Google such and such.
And dont really use it for voice to text because it always messes up my words.
I guess i speak very fast.
That's a surprise.
I kind of do.
I think I prefer the g board when I'm texting.
Alexa, I love it.
The only problem is that sometimes I actually ask to play certain songs and I have to name the song then the artist.
I can't name the artist then the song because then it says that playlist doesn't exist.
Who wants to do that?
Yeah, I'd stop using it.
Well, it's habit to usually say artist then song.
Can't you do one or the other?
I like the old classic by Seabank, Bennett Bergman.
I say play one more.
If I say Seabank, it goes you do not have that song, then if I go play one more shot by Seabank then it recognises and plays.
I curious what people watching at home think, don't forget we are answer questions you have about Alaska.
The sub-question there, the sub-directive, is yeah, anything you wanna ask us about.
Well, if you want anything, they said what is, Jeff Bakula, what's your problem with the president?
No, I love our current president.
It has nothing to do with our current president.
He's just really, really a big Donald Trump guy.
I'm just a huge
That's his problem right there.
I, you know, look-
Just loves Donald Trump, what can I say.
That is not the case, it's so funny I'm still willing to joke about everything but I draw the line there, I have no problem with our current president, I love that guy.
Do we have anything like really off the wall?
Not that doesn't even makes sense that we're receiving?
Somebody said can you tell me why do you choose the name Siri?
Why did we choose Siri?
We didn't, so for the record, CNET has no affiliation with Apple, by the way.
We have no input into whether or not Apple named their->> [LAUGHS] No
How is that a question, though?
Hey, you said anything, I'm giving anything.
Well, I mean, if you wanna know why I picked the topic was because it has come up in videos in the past week.
Yeah, that's true.
So, that's why people.
It is, it is inside of iPhones.
iPhones are a very popular phone.
We often do see that there is plenty of attention that our readers seem to wonder about with those devices.
And, like I said, just at the Code conference, there was plenty of talk about the artificial intelligence.
Every company talked about the impact that it'll have on our lives.
Ebay saying it's gonna use AI to deliver us crap we didn't know we needed.
Even though we will need it.
What does that even mean?
They'll say we want you to buy it.
That 1980s, Optimus Prime, that you always wanted?
You don't need AI to figure out that I'm totally lurking all over that site.
[LAUGH] But the computer will know that you
If you want it and it's delivered to you.
I feel like there's certain things artificial intelligence has a logical sort of relevancy to and there's other things where it's like, well no, you're shoehorning that technology into a place where it doesn't necessarily belong.>> I think that's where we are with a lot of these companies cause AI is such a buzzword, every company looking, desperate to sound relevant, they're like we're on AI, we've been investigating it for ten years, what are you talking about?>> Right.
I don't know, the last buzzword is obviously this cloud-computing thing.
Which is just like, yeah, you can say that, most people don't understand what that means.
Hey guys, I got one more.
What about Viv?
The voice assistant.
I think the creators or makers of Siri have split off from Apple.
They're making a different voice assistant that It's not stuck on any one particular platform.
This is third party.>> Okay
But what is interesting about them is that it will hear your question and then do a whole bunch of different formulas to get to that answer, as well as referring to history.
So it's fascinating that it was really, really early.
I believe it was shown off at a tech crunch disrupt, if I remember correctly.
So it's like an independent platform.
And where would it actually, where would you use it?
On your phone, a computer, internet thing?
On a phone is where they were showing it off.
I think you had to download it as an app.
Sort of, it's os early, it's hard to know exactly what angle they're going at.
Which is funny, cuz it's like any mobile platform that you would want to use that has it's own proprietary voice assistance.
It'd have to be way better for you to justify using it.
I know Hound had a lot of [CROSSTALK]
Gonna say have you guys tried Hound.
That was a really good app.
Hound is pretty amazing, It's a great demo voice assistant.
It's Sound Hound app?
Yeah, I think they shortened it to Hound now, and now it does music and like everything else you could ever want.
They do a lot of like really sexy demos where they'll like subtract the population of India from how long it takes For light to travel to the sun.
It's almost like the Wolfram Alpha of like, which was like okay, that's not something anyone would ever need.
Yeah Wolfram Alpha was great as a concept, but nobody ever actually used it.
Yeah, no one's trying to divide butter by New Jersey, nobody is trying to do that.
I actually have a question for you guys.
If Apple were to release Their own version of Alexa with a camera.
Would you guys purchase it and why?
Or wouldn't you, and why?
So say that again?
If Apple created their own Alexa-like home unit, and it did have the camera-
So like the story that Shar wrote.
Yeah, the story that we wrote.
Yeah, but I wanna know your personal opinion of would you
Or wouldn't you?
If it worked with other things and it had a mute button, maybe.
To me the mute button's really important.
When Google Home was announced and it had no buttons on it, I was like all right, cuz I do sign up for the Google music service.
So first off, that's convenient for me, but that had no buttons, then how do I tell it to stop-
Well I totally fixate on the buttons.
I can't not hear you say buttons.
I can't not hear it either, it's crazy.
I would probably not.
Like I haven't really embraced the echo and I probably wouldn't.
Do you have an echo?
No that's the thing I havent really.
I kinda just wanna buy one.
Whenever amazon comes out with something like Like a new product or something.
You gonna buy it?
I should buy that.
Do you buy the tab buttons or the push buttons?
No, I don't have any dash stuff.
I don't have a dash one, although I was thinking about getting one of those like diaper dash buttons.
Do you think you'll get a drone delivery for like
If you wanted some hockey equipment and it was last-minute.
So, guys, I think it's time we do a last call for questions.
All right, yeah.
Okay, so do we have a, I mean?
Do we have any questions?
I just threw it out there.
I'll see if I get anything.
But if you guys wanna continue.
The Amazon drone commercial, I believe it had Jeremy Clarkson in it as well.
They showed it off the drone concept by showing a girl This commercial is not new at all, by the way, it's few months old now.
But a girl is going to her soccer practice and her shoes have been eaten by the dog.
So, then they order the shoes and it gets delivered to their back yard.
Via drone and then she makes it to practice with brand new soccer shoes.
Yeah, that's not
You don't think that will ever happen.
It's gonna happen, but it's not gonna happen for a long, long time.
Let's stop with the sci-fi crap for a second and think logistically.
How is that gonna play out?
We're gonna have hundreds of drones flying everywhere.
They're not gonna collide.
I mean that,-
They'll avoid each other.
They'll be able to avoid each other.
But you won't ever see the sky again.
[LAUGH] Drones everywhere.
It's going to be a drone traffic.
All carry tiny Amazon boxes.
Cuz I mean if there are enough boxes, the sheer amount of boxes that we order at home.
There are going to be like 40, 50 thousand drones just around my apartment.
It's very weird how like any residential high rise you walk into, it's just like Christmas.
And every day, there's just a bunch of brown boxes, like Christmas.
All right, guys.
I think we're gonna make this the last question.
Okay, here we go.
The inflatable space station, what do you think?
We should do it.
What is that?
Yeah, I'm afraid that I got-
Is there any context for that questions or it just-
Just throwing it out there.
No, it says the inflatable space station.
What do you think?
Is that a space station-
With helium inside?
Hey, I know as much as you guys.
No, I imagine there's [UNKNOWN] or something filled up inside, right?
If there's helium-
Why would we need helium?
You don't need anything in space.
Well, you need oxygen.
Yeah, for sure.
I'm saying, why is it inflatable?
Probably cuz it's more durable, maybe?
Maybe [CROSSTALK] away.
Like, it can't rip, or [CROSSTALK]
You're talking about just a nice cushion for docking?
No, it's like.
I don't know, like it's elastic, I guess?
There's no collision [CROSSTALK]
I'm now obsessed with this.
I think we're going to have to look that one up at a future time and we'll let you know.
I like them I'm a big fan.
Yeah a big fan of that.
Hey thank you to Roger to Mike to Joey.
And to Brian in the control room for helping us out, we really appreciate it.
We hope you enjoyed our first On Tab, I enjoyed it.
As long as I get free beer.
Open_Tab, why'd I call it On Tab?
Yeah, I see it, Open_Tab.
The bar is now closed.
The bar is closed, the lights are on, everyone looks weird.
Everyone looks weird, everyone wants to go home, it's awkward.
Keep watching facebook.com/cnet, all of our Facebook live stuff.
Thanks to Mike for putting this all together.
We'll see you soon.
Thank you so much for watching Cheers, dude.