You read that right. While you’re probably using Alexa to play some tunes or tell you the weather forecast for the day, authorities have used Alexa for information on a murder trial.
PCMAG and CNN reported that James Bates was charged with first degree murder of friend (and ex police officer) Victor Collins. James claimed to invite Victor and another friend over to watch some college football and all of them enjoyed the company of (a lot of) alcohol. Victor & friend proceeded to use the hot tub while Bates went to bed; when he woke up, Collins was dead in the hot tub.
How is the Amazon Echo involved?
James Bates was a smart man before (supposedly) killing Victor Collins, because he had a device supporting one of our favorite Artificial Intelligence systems: Alexa. However, for those who know how the echo/echo dot works, Alexa is active every time she hears her name (or what she thinks might be her name), and sends all data to the cloud/ Amazon servers (talk about privacy). If Bates did indeed commit the murder, he should be grateful he didn’t ask Alexa “how to get rid of a body“.
Apparently at the time all this happened, there was music playing through the Alexa supported device (hint hint — active and aware of everything, and always listening for its “wake word”). As every reputable company should do, Amazon has declined to share any private information (#throwback to Apple’s FBI struggles) for now. If officials manage to convince Amazon enough, they would get their hands on the servers that could hold key information of the night of the murder. Was anything said that night? Were there screams? Who knows.
So, readers of IFLSG, think twice before committing murders (BECAUSE IT’S WRONG).
And also because your AI may be listening.
Let us know what you think of this down in the comments!
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