Video Google Home, the web giant's internet-connected talking personal assistant, has started spamming audio adverts to unsuspecting folk today.
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.
In a car-crash video, uploaded to Twitter by Bryson Meunier, a Google Home is asked: “Okay Google, what’s my day like?” The chatbot answers the question by telling him the time, the weather and what his commute is like. So far, so good.
But then, it sneakily adds: “By the way, Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast opens today.” Soft piano music is played, and the ad continues running.
“For some more movie fun, ask me something about Belle. Have a good one,” it cheekily concludes, referring to the movie's character. Now, we're aware of the irony of complaining about ads spouted by a device, only to then offer to play the ad to you, but it's honestly so creepy and stupid, it'll make you reconsider the myth that Google hires only the smartest people on the planet.
Unsurprisingly, folks – who have shelled out $129 for one of these things – aren’t thrilled. “I'm not a fan of ads on this device. I don't believe I've done any searching for the film either, so I think it's not due to perceived interest. Has anyone else heard similar ads?” one bod wrote on Reddit.
Google Home is just one of the few virtual assistants available. Most major technology companies are locked in a race to build the best chatbot, one that appeals to everyone....
Another proprietary product where you are the product. You bought it, you should have total control overwhat it does, but you never do, they sell it at a low price, even at a loss (see Loss Leader), then make their money selling you to the advertisers.