Katyanna Quach, writing for The Register
Never before have we witnessed a technology giant destroy a product with such precision-engineered idiocy. Don’t be evil? Do us a favor.
Promos for Disney’s new Beauty and the Beast flick, released in American cinemas today, are being mixed into Google Home’s responses to questions. In a test with a Home owned by a Reg writer, the chatbot device started touting the kids movie in between telling the time and news headlines. This is with the default configuration: no opt-ins or opt-outs.
This is not surprising. Google has never shied away from the fact that the users are the product. Google makes its money through advertising. So expecting that Google will not show ads is a delusional assumption.
Google’s response is hilarious and kind of sad that they don’t appreciate/realize the enormity of the issue.
This isn’t an ad; the beauty in the Assistant is that it invites our partners to be our guest and share their tales.
update: Google’s yet another redrafted bullshit response
This wasn’t intended to be an ad. What’s circulating online was a part of our My Day feature, where after providing helpful information about your day, we sometimes call out timely content. We’re continuing to experiment with new ways to surface unique content for users and we could have done better in this case.
Google has stopped this ad now but looking at the above comment you can expect surprising ads in unexpected places engineered by the socially inexperienced nerds.
Google already reads your emails, documents, calendar to serve ads to you. Listening on people’s conversations is the natural, unsurprising step in the evolution of Google. There is no need for panic. Google is just being Google. The question here is this “Is this product worth giving up your Privacy?”