It's nothing new for voice-activated devices to behave badly when they misinterpret dialogue — just ask anyone watching a Microsoft gaming event with a Kinect-… [Read More]
Summary… * Machine-Made
Sure enough, the channel received multiple reports from viewers whose Echo devices tried to order dollhouses when they heard the TV broadcast.
It's not clear that any of the purchases went through, but it no doubt caused some panic among people who weren't planning to buy toys that day.
It's easy to avoid this if you're worried: you can require a PIN code to make purchases through the Echo or turn off ordering altogether.
You can also change the wake word so that TV personalities won't set off your speaker in the first place.
However, this comedy of errors also suggests that there's a lot of work to be done on smart speakers before they're truly trustworthy.
Opinion… * Man-Made