Following the widespread criticism of the AI smart assistant providers for not disclosing the fact that humans may review interactions, lots of water has passed under the bridge. Yesterday many users received an email from Google about the pathway forward on that touchy subject. The starting point was a very smart call from Google in turning storage of these interactions off, but you can opt-in again if you wish.
If you wish to confirm this, you can visit myactviity.google.com where you’ll find no recordings unless you’ve reactivated the feature. NB. The recordings are no longer there, but transcripts of your interactions with Assistant are.
For users the simple breakdown is:
- If you choose to opt-in, storage of voice recordings will recommence
- If you choose to opt-in, as before, you can delete recordings at any time
- Not turning storage back on will not affect your interactions with Assistant
Let’s be honest, in our current connected world privacy is a relative thing. If you want the convenience of an AI like Google Assistant, Alexa or Siri then there are some compromises to be made. Without directly saying so, Google has suggested that turning the feature back on helps improve the AI experience for all users. Clearly, they’re encouraging users to re-enable storage to continue an improve Google Assistant across the board.
The audio recordings setting, when enabled, will save audio from your interactions with Google Assistant, Search, and Maps, which may be reviewed to help improve how our products understand speech.
If you’ve interacted with a Google Assistant device recently, the odds are you’ve received this email. Hopefully today, we’ve provided some clearer understanding of what it means for you.
Where do you draw the line on the big tech companies harvesting and storing data about you?