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Smart Speakers

How are smart speakers affecting us, from privacy through to consumerism and child development?

The number of smart speakers in US households has increased by 78% year-over-year, from 66 million in December 2017 to 118 million in December 2018. About ten million people in the UK now use one and, on average, one in 10 people in the world now own a smart speaker. And it does not seem like the rise is stopping any time soon.

Presenter Paul Bakibinga investigates the current possibilities of a smart home and voice design. Together with experts he explores how owning a virtual assistant - always on and always listening - introduces a whole host of issues to consider - from privacy through to child development and rampant consumerism. But, using your voice for browsing the internet, playing music or ordering groceries has proved to be a lifeline for disabled and elderly users.

We hear from child psychologist Rachel Severson, online privacy expert Florian Schaub, computer voice expert and psychologist Jonathan Gratch, Google’s Cathy Pearl and the author of Radical Technologies Adam Greenfield.

We are also invited to a multi-generational home of smart speaker users who don’t all agree whether these machines are a force for good or another way of surrendering our privacy.

Presenter: Paul Bakibinga
Producer: Ivana Davidovic

(Photo: Smart Speaker. Credit: Getty Images)

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23 minutes

Last on

Tue 29 Jan 2019 02:32GMT

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