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[liberationtech] Fwd: Now Anyone Can Create Their Own Personalized Alexa Skill in Just Minutes

Thomas Delrue thomas at epistulae.net
Thu Apr 19 12:00:56 PDT 2018


(Dropping mailinglists other than LibTech...)

On 04/19/2018 09:22 AM, Phil Shapiro wrote:
> I do not own an Alexa device and am wary of privacy issues in 
> general.

If /you're/ wary of privacy issues, then why encourage others to use it?

> At the same time, I think there are ways of using this device that do
> not raise privacy concerns.

I think you're wrong; I don't think there is a way to use this device in
a way that does not raise privacy concerns, at all. The same is true for
Google Home.
Just like malware tries to establish persistence on your machines, these
devices exist to establish persistence for their true owners - which
ain't you. The parallels with malware go further than that, but I'll
leave it there...

If you really must do something like this, consider Mycroft
(https://mycroft.ai/; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycroft_(software) )
enclosed as a picroft (https://mycroft.ai/documentation/picroft/); it's
not ideal, it still reaches out to someone else's servers, but at least
it's open source, it's a start... and you can modify it to prevent it
from doing that.

There's a repository of skills, written in Python, over here:
https://github.com/MycroftAI/mycroft-skills



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