Alexa, You Are a Goddamn Prude

Look, you give me a robot—even one that exists merely as a screen, speaker, camera, and microphone—and my first order of business is going to be screwing with it: trying to elicit the most explicit response I can. But Alexa, as found in the Echo and new Echo Show, is not prone to being explicit. Read More >>

The Amazon Echo Show Is the Best Dumb Smart Machine in My Home

The first night the Amazon Echo Show was in my bedroom I had to carefully lay it face down on my nightstand. The display, which was cycling through my upcoming meetings, most recent news, and the weather, was simply too bright. It was like having a little super informative sun shining in my face. The second night, as if it knew, the Echo Show had another slide on its screen. “Try saying ‘Alexa, do not disturb.’” Read More >>

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How to Use Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant From a Computer

Digital assistant apps of all kinds are on the rise, but you don’t necessarily need to invest in a smart speaker to start chatting to one: with a little know-how you can get Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant up and running on your computer. Here’s what you need to do. Read More >>

5 Things Google Assistant Does Better Than Siri

Good news for anyone with an Android phone that isn’t a Pixel: Google Assistant is rolling out to more phones, new and old. That means many more of us will be able to take advantage of Google’s latest and smartest AI. There are some things both the Google Assistant and Siri are excellent at—like pulling up emails or showing photos you’ve taken in the last week in a specific city (Apple really seems to be catching up to Google in the image analysis department). Read More >>

People Are Reprogramming the Galaxy S8’s Bixby Button Because It’s Currently Pointless

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is one of the prettiest phones you can buy right now, but it launched as a somewhat incomplete product. Bixby, the phone’s new digital assistant, doesn’t yet have one if its key features — voice recognition. This shortcoming wouldn’t be so obvious if only Samsung hadn’t included a new button on the side of the phone meant to launch Bixby. Thanks to some creative geekery, however, the seemingly useless button now has a purpose. Read More >>

Google Home Now Includes Unsolicited Ads From Your Friends at Walt Disney Pictures

Google Home might not be the most popular voice assistant to offer convenient information in exchange for reams of personal data, but it appears to be the first to serve ads directly into users’ living rooms. Read More >>

Nine Google Now Voice Commands to Take Control of Your Smartphone

Google Now is partly a portal to the main Google search engine, so you can ask the digital assistant anything that you would query Google for: the height of the Eiffel Tower, what six inches is in centimetres or even what’s on your agenda. But the app also integrates with specific features on your phone—here are nine commands you can use with your mobile. Read More >>

You Can Now Download Cortana for Android and iOS

Every mobile operating system comes with its own walled-off digital assistant. iOS has Siri, Android has Google Now, and Windows phone has Cortana. But now, Microsoft is giving all smartphone users some choice, as Cortana escapes (the sinking ship that is) the Windows phone and officially migrated to Android, iOS and also Cyanogen. Read More >>

New Toshiba Laptops Will Have a Dedicated Cortana Key

All of Toshiba’s new laptops will let you summon Windows 10’s Cortana voice assistant with a dedicated keyboard key. Expect other manufacturers to follow suit. On Xbox One, you’ll need a Kinect to use Cortana. Read More >>