My attitude toward smart speakers seems to match that of most Iowans - I've heard about the privacy issues, but I have three of them in the house. And I do attempt to present a balanced view. I address the privacy issues on the show and offer tips on how to protect yourself. But I also want to acknowledge how awesome these devices can be.
So it's time for some good news.
There may be a life saving benefit to having your home assistant listen in on you.
Your smart speaker might soon be able to tell if you're having a heart attack. Researchers at the University of Washington are developing artificial intelligence that can detect audio cues of cardiac arrest. The system was developed using 911 call samples containing the breathing sounds that come with cardiac arrest.
The system was accurate 97-percent of the time in early testing. The devices could pick up the unique breathing pattern, through a host of other sounds, from about six feet away.
The new system would ask people nearby to provide CPR, but will call 911 if there's no response. The system may soon be available to consumers - the scientists have created a company to commercialize the technology.
Don't forget that your smart speaker can be used to stream WHO Radio and you can even set a reminder for your favorite show - say one that features a handsome Sicilian dude with a sexy voice.