biometrics
Tax Office Told to Delete 5m Voice ID Recordings

HMRC is in trouble with the ICO for failing to gain adequate permission from its customers before signing them up to voice-recognition systems -- so it's been told to delete around five million data files. It will at least free up quite a bit of the national hard drive space. Read More >>

alexa
The Government’s Added 12,000 Pieces of Data to Your Smart Speaker

Talking out loud to the government usually involves yelling "NO, I SAID SELF ASSESSMENT" down the phone to HRMC's robots, which then declare that the queue is too long and hang up on you. Read More >>

google
You Can Now Talk to Google Maps Out Loud

Maybe it's a British thing, but a lot of us seem reluctant to use voice control in the many ways it's available to us. For instance, we never see anyone saying "Hey Google, what's on my calendar?" or "what's the weather like?" (maybe we all do it in secret) – but Google has just announced an integration that makes perfect sense even on these more reserved shores. Read More >>

networks
Plummet in Landline Use Triggers Debate on Phone Numbers

Ofcom has revealed that the nation's use of landlines to talk to other people has metaphorically fallen off a cliff, with the amount of time we spend on landlines falling by half in the last six years. Because of, like Black Mirror says, all the mobile phones, and the fact your dad can get webcam sex on his iPad now so has no need to call the chatlines. Read More >>

alexa
Even Alexa Took Christmas Day Off

We might all take the day off on December the 25th, but we expect our smart tech to keep working. Apparently, Amazon's Alexa smart assistant took exception to our Ebenezer Scrooge attitude this year, and went on strike on Christmas Day. Read More >>

amazon alexa
You Can Finally Create Alexa Skills Without Code In The UK

Just seven entire months after it launched in the US, Amazon has deigned to bring its Alexa Skill Blueprints service to voice assistant enthusiasts here on Brexit Island. Read More >>

alexa
We Might Be Getting a Welsh Alexa

In the ongoing effort to keep the amazing language that is Welsh active and thriving, the Welsh government is launching a 'technology action plan' that includes recommendations for smart speakers that speak the language. Read More >>

google
You’ll Soon Be Able To Talk To Your Android Lockscreen

Asking Google questions out loud hasn't really caught on in the UK in the way that is has in more self-assured countries (read: America), but for those who love hands-free searching, there'll soon be a new way to bug Google Assistant without even unlocking your phone. Read More >>

google
Google’s Pointless Speaker Thing Offers Free UK Phone Calls Now

This whole talking-to-a-speaker bullshit is perhaps about to be of some use, to some people, maybe once a year, as an update to Google's Home and Home Mini smart speakers has unlocked free voice calls to UK homes and businesses. Read More >>

amazon
Ocado App About to Arrive on Alexa

The bizarre trend for voice controlled home assistants — which hasn't died off at time of writing — is about to receive a boost for adopters in the UK, as posh shopping coordinator Ocado has launched an app for Amazon Alexa. Read More >>

art
Art Installation Swears at Pedestrians as it Can’t Understand t’Yorkshire Accent

A piece of public art in Hull that uses voice-to-text technology to display messages has obviously gone wrong, because everything in the history of voice recognition always does and always will, especially outside of the south-east corner of the country. Read More >>

watch this
Make Your Browser Talk With This Wonderfully Annoying Human Speech Simulator

If half your work day is spent thinking up ways to troll and annoy your co-workers, tomorrow's going to be an easy one. Neil Thapen’s Pink Trombone is a browser-based speech synthesiser that lets you manipulate a simulated mouth, throat, tongue, and nasal cavity to create a remarkably realistic—and equally annoying—human voice. Read More >>

huawei
Huawei Builds Alexa into Android

Phone maker Huawei used its presence at CES to announce a plan to launch the Huawei Mate 9 in the US, and there's one key difference between the version we got and the one they're getting -- the US model will have Amazon's Alexa assistant thing built in from day one. Read More >>

ai
Samsung Buys Cross-Platform AI and Voice Recognition Team Viv Labs

The tech companies of the world are still kidding themselves that we care about voice control and AI women who can occasionally set alarms at the right time for us, so much so that Samsung's blown a large chunk of money on buying Viv Labs -- the latest AI startup from some of the people that gifted Siri to the world. Read More >>

google
Earn Some Cash on the Side by Talking to Google in a Scottish Accent

Google can help you earn $$$$ by working from home, as long as you're Scottish and have access to a PC and/or Android-powered mobile phone. Read More >>