How Much Do You Trust The Big Data Camera In Your House? [With Polls]
I love my Amazon Prime account. I love the “free” two day shipping. Amazon made my favorite show of the year. I love my Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV stick. I like my Amazon Echo a whole bunch. The new Amazon Look terrifies me.
So, what is the Amazon Echo Look?
Warning: the first girl’s voice asking Alexa if it’s going to rain is weirdly jarring. Also, just laying around on couches asking robots if it’s going to rain later is absolutely a key step to us becoming this:
That said, here’s their pitch:
So, in short, it’s a standing, voice activated camera. You put on an outfit that you’re thinking of wearing and tell the Amazon AI, named Alexa, to snap a picture of you. You can try on multiple outfits, have Alexa take pictures of you in all of them, and then use Amazon’s style guide to help you choose the best one based on current fashion trends.
You can also check the Amazon Echo Look camera to see how you appear from behind. Just stand in front of it and check out how you look using the Alexa app on your phone. Oh! That’s how my ass looks!
It’s a whole new way to get dressed!
Hey Alexa! Am I Hot Or Not?
Oh, 64% say no? Fucking sweet!
And it’s one step closer to machines taking over the universe. But that’s not what really concerns me.
The legal documents I accept without reading are what concern me. Because yes, I have an Amazon Echo, (Just the regular canister kind, not the video kind that a Macedonian hacker overpowers and jerks off to), and in so many ways it’s great. My stellar reviews of it actually convinced both Dustin and Seth to get one. But the thing that kind of irks me is that it’s always on…just sitting there…listening.
Yes, it’s listening for its name to be called, theoretically. For you or some member of your family to say “Amazon” or “Alexa” depending on which wake word you chose, but it also keeps an audio record of your requests, ostensibly to improve its voice recognition capability, but c’mon.
That’s not how I’d parent, but that’s just me.
Oh FUCK OFF Alexa. If that is your real name.
Anything — and I mean ANYTHING that has human beings associated with it is going to have some corruption. You think there are no Amazon interns randomly parsing data? You think that Amazon is so noble that they don’t randomly just pull sounds from your home and chock it up as an audio pilot exercise?
I mean, I hope they don’t, but…c’mon.
It’s why we ended up disconnecting our Xbox Kinect. First because the games for it were largely worthless, but second because why would we ever have a fucking CAMERA pointed into our living room?
But it’s not on.
Yes, it is.
No, really, there’s a little light that goes on if it’s on.
So, you couldn’t hack your way around that?
I mean, maybe, but-
And at no time has any Microsoft employee improperly accessed anyone’s camera?
Well, I can’t know-
Right, none of us can. But what do you think? Is there any clause inside any of the many many many irritating contracts we click to get them the hell out of the way that maybe says that Xbox can periodically conduct unannounced quality checks to make sure third party instrumentation is working within spec?
Yeah, that means they’re covered if they want to watch people fornicate.
Riiiight. We’re not idiots.
That’s why ours lives unplugged, in a box.
But the Amazon Echo Look! It’s so fucking cool!
Yes, it is. I agree. And when you’re done Amazon Looking you can Amazon Show yourself!
In this video, a grown ass man talks to his mom hands free on the Amazon Show, which is a talking and viewing screen shat directly out of the nightmares of George Orwell. As the mom and overgrown man-child have a chat, his wife enters the room. That’s where this whole bullshit video breaks down because the husband doesn’t immediately say, super-loud
HI HONEY I’M JUST TALKING TO MY MOM OVER THERE ON THE AMAZON PRIVACY INVADER!
Because the wife is hustling and could be about to say anything. She could walk in and say:
Ugh! My vagina is still aching from last night.
Or she could say:
Hey, don’t forget to call the doctor to get your hemorrhoids lasered.
Or she could say:
Can you call your mother and tell her we can’t go over there this weekend because we actually have real shit to do and we don’t need to eat lamb again for like seven years?
I don’t know what kind of idyllic existence these Amazoners live in, and I love my in-laws more than I love ice cream, but I certainly want a heads up if they’re on the motherfucking horn.
Anyway, I like Amazon. They have the best customer service. But they’re also data crazy. You think they’re not training the future robots who will steal our consciousness to approximate human fashion? You think Amazon isn’t tallying the shit on the wall in the room behind you? Or depth-measuring the size of your fashion room & cross-referencing that with the related spending habits of people with comparable residential square-footage to big data the fuck out of your buying profile?
While the Amazon Look and Show are going to provide a nice bump for both peeping toms and voyeurs out there, I’m not sure that they provide real value. Our digital addicted, no-privacy kids may someday invite them into their homes, and opt to digitize their own organs or whatever, but for those of us who grew up in the Before Time? I think we need to draw the line.
And if you ever stand around wondering how your ass looks in those jeans? I’m here to tell you:
It looks fucking amazing.
And so does mine. And so does the ass of every person who doesn’t ever buy an Amazon Echo Look.
NOTE: Apologies for the lousy, defective polls. I remember Straw Polls being cooler. Now it’s comic sans and captcha and they don’t seem to work. I won’t be using them again. I really needed Alexa to make a poll for me. “Alexa are you recording my credit card number when I order pizza over the phone?
No? Okay cool.” Poll is conclusive.
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