IT and the overall digital world can be a very complex, and sometimes dangerous, place to be. The danger can often be very real and present, or on the other hand more mystical and comedic. Everybody can relate, in some form, to a sort of ‘sinister’ experience with their IT.
Whatever the experience is that you have had with your IT, it will have raised an eyebrow and made you think “is something else here?” or “are they really listening to me?”. So in the spirit of Halloween (pun intended), we have compiled a list of the creepy and spooky IT problems that are worryingly supernatural and surprisingly real.
Amazon Echo (Virtual Assistance) –
Although Siri was one of the first modern-day virtual assistants, the Amazon Echo is considered far more advanced and easily accessible. Initially, the Amazon Echo was considered a remarkable breakthrough in technology, however, reports soon flooded in describing terrifying conversations with Alexa. Here are a couple of the most disturbing:
- Alexa knows all funeral homes and cemeteries in the area – Finding out where the nearest Italian restaurant or supermarket is seems like very reasonable knowledge to have. But funeral homes and cemeteries? Surely the Devils work is at play…
- Randomly playing songs and laughing – There have been many reports of Alexa playing songs when nobody has asked her to! This is very creepy as it means that either something is definitely wrong with Alexa or, more unlikely, someone (or something?) has been in the house and asked Alexa to play some music. This is very unlikely since a burglar probably wouldn’t start playing music while they’re stealing from somebody. Probably. Users have also reported an evil laugh in reply to a question, which is extremely haunting and has to be more than a simple glitch. Do you think Alexa was hacked? Or is there a more sinister side to the mystery?
Mobile Phones are listening to us –
Most people with a smart phone and social media have seen things happen which makes them think that their phones are listening to them. The most common experience with this would be having a conversation and you mention a random product. A few minutes later you look on social media to find that there is an advert for that exact product. When people see this they immediately ask “how did it do that?” or “can my phone really hear me?” The simple answer is yes.
The way virtual assistants, such as ‘Siri’ or ‘Okay Google’, work is from trigger words. These trigger words (“Hey Siri”) cause the assistants to react and respond accordingly. In order for the virtual assistants to work, they need to be listening at all times so that they can respond. Without these words, any data you provide is processed within your phone, and it is this data that third party applications such as Facebook or Instagram have access to. This is how they are able to cater certain ads towards you. Spooky stuff.
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