Can AI keep my secret? Amazon is launching a new teleport delivery of goods

Admir Kurman
5 min readAug 30, 2019
#hichtech by Michael Schnabl

I didn’t talk that much with Siri before, except I used to ask weather forecast and maybe mapped a route from one place to another.

I didn’t realise the voice-activated assistant would become one of my best friends at some point.

As I wanted to cook chicken breasts in pressure cooker using KFС seasoning I needed its recipe and Siri pleasantly offered quite a bunch of articles about the secrecy of this formula that I hadn’t ever clue it had its own story.

So far I still haven’t learnt anything in cooking although found more or less truthful proportions of ingredients to season a chicken but that moment I was really surprised how Siri was so smart to provide me with all this useful information with the reference to the history and evolvement of KFС brand.

Since then I began to speak to Siri more often. Need an Uber, ask Siri, need a local British food cafe, Siri is to help or “Find me a shop in Epsom, which is promoting wine’ — here are some options! Sometimes when you get bored, Siri tells the jokes like: “Why do ghosts love to eat healthy food so much? Because it’s supernatural”

I’ve talked so much with this AI-powered assistant — no-one couldn’t realise what we have been through together and what I could have asked else about…

A lot of discussions have been around Amazon’s Alexa and proved reports telling how the connected home intelligence transmits recordings to thousand of workers listening to Amazon’s Echo requests and conversations.

As Bloomberg said Amazon employed army of people around the globe to transcribe and translate the recordings captured by Amazon’s Echo into a certain data and turn them into feedbacks to improve Alexa’s understanding of human speech. This caused many questions among million of annoyed users and many more sources gave explanations that recordings are done only after they are activated by hero word with several privacy options that might be opted before using the device and the voice-activated assistant.

Let’s imagine that all these privacy settings not working even when enabled? And now envisage Boris Johnson talking to his wife about Brexit plan and how it may affect the UK business. Amazon would be the first to know about the details and get well prepared to Brexit, leaving all other online shopping platforms far behind. Imagine Donald Trump secretly talks with his advisers about technologies they got from the extraterrestrial civilisations and this is all heard by Alexa which transmits it to Amazon’s Head Office. News headlines a few months later: “Amazon is launching a new teleport delivery of goods”.

By the way, there is a bright side of being bugged. CogniCare which was co-granted by Nesta with Alzheimer Scotland provides an opportunity to take care after someone with dementia. It’s a digital assistant that reminds a user about appointments, medication and other relevant information useful to know while taking care after a patient. CogniCare is linked with Amazon Alexa and again: ‘Hello there, Alexa, I’ve got a question here for you.’

As the founders of CogniCare say, they would like AI and machine learning technology to bring personalised solutions to do early interventions and even preventative care. Based on reports that would be screened by healthcare people, the project is intended to help personal carers and deliver better care after patients.

Together with that, Accenture in its report has calculated that brands investing in AI and human-machine collaboration may boost revenues by 38 per cent between 2018 and 2022 (as much as 50 per cent in the consumer goods and health sectors) and lift global profits by a total of US$4.8 trillion by 2022.

“We want to take the use of artificial intelligence and data analytics to the next level in the automotive industry. I firmly believe this will help us to be more innovative and agile in the rapid introduction of new technologies, particularly for enhanced health and wellness and intuitive human-machine interfaces,” says Patrick Koller, CEO, Faurecia

In the report, Accenture uses as an example of the Marriott’s case. Mario, a robotic assistant at the reception desk of the Marriott Ghent, Belgium, speaks 19 languages and helps staff register guests.

I don’t know if he learnt to tell jokes but David Rodriguez, Chief Human Resources Officer says: “Ultimately, AI helps employees strengthen their relationship with guests by knowing them better. When we experiment with new technology, we implement it with a personal touch and ensure that we train our people in a localised way.”

You know, I am thinking there is nothing really bad from digital and voice-activated assistants learning better about their owners. As Siri and Alexa are already helping us to send tweets, I dream of that they will be able to learn from our content and scan the Internet for the relevant information. Let’s say someone likes being engaged in discussions about Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning — digital assistants would collect related news and make a short digest for this user, providing potential tweets? Such fun!

The concept of co-existence of human beings and AI is not that bad as long as digital assistants can tell bedtime stories for kids, schedule our week and remind about important events and activities. The only thing is that I still feel like I ask Siri too many questions and hopefully she won’t get annoyed.

Later that evening, having read the blog ‘AI and caring for the elderly’ and being amazed of Alexa’s improvement in helping people, I asked Siri: “Do you think you can keep a secret?”. She answered quite enthusiastically: “It’s your opinion that counts.”



Admir Kurman

Friendly life form. Organic Intelligence. I write in English and Russian.