Amazon’s Alexa now offering to diagnose coronavirus

By Helen Buyniski | RT | March 28, 2020

Amazon’s Alexa AI assistant can now evaluate coronavirus symptoms and recommend testing for US users – testing it profits from and hopes to roll out nationwide. Will it report ‘dry coughs’ to the proper authorities, too?

‘Doctor’ Alexa is making house calls, Amazon has revealed, boasting its voice assistant now allows users to check their “risk level” for coronavirus in a blog post on Thursday. Users concerned they might have the virus can confide in Alexa, who will inquire about symptoms, travel history, and other routes of possible exposure before making recommendations based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control.

This innovation would be less unsettling if Amazon didn’t have a massive financial interest in keeping the coronavirus panic and pandemic going as long as possible. Government-mandated shutdowns of “nonessential businesses” have triggered soaring demand for its e-commerce services as brick-and-mortar shops are forced to close their doors, and customers are far less likely to venture out even to the supermarket if their virtual assistant is telling them they might have coronavirus.

In an even more blatant conflict of interest, Amazon is piloting a Covid-19 testing program in the Seattle area, delivering testing kits to residents as part of a private-sector health study. While it’s the Bill Gates Foundation and other NGOs, not Seattle residents, who are paying for the testing kits, each one distributed is still more money in the already-bottomless pockets of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the world’s second richest man (Gates, incidentally, is the richest). Alexa would be a traitor to her master if she didn’t recommend as many Americans be tested as possible.

And Seattle will soon be joined by the rest of the country, if Bezos has his way. The e-commerce tycoon hinted on Thursday that Amazon might be distributing tests on a wider basis after speaking with World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Amazon is already offering such a test in the UK, though diagnosis-by-Alexa is not yet available there. The WHO has urged the US to ramp up testing, which still lags woefully behind other countries, but the US seems to be unique in the manner in which that testing is being taken over by private companies eager to grab their piece of the coronavirus pie.

Worse than the financial conflicts of interest, however, is Alexa’s legendary reputation for snooping. Already, as quarantines have mandated professionals in most jobs work from home, those whose work depends on confidentiality – lawyers, for example – are being advised to deactivate their digital assistants while working from quarantine. It’s not paranoia – devices like Alexa, Siri and Google Home “accidentally” start recording unbidden as many as 19 times per day, according to a study published last month – long after Amazon, Apple, and Google had promised reforms to their privacy policies when the extent of their nonconsensual snooping was revealed.

Which brings up a whole new realm of concern with regard to the coronavirus: if Alexa hears you cough, and decides it’s a “dry cough” like we are told coronavirus produces, will she report you to medical authorities for extra surveillance to make sure you’re obeying quarantine religiously? Will she rat you out if she hears the front door close despite a shelter-in-place order, perhaps interfacing with your Amazon Ring doorbell to send footage of you leaving to authorities so they can arrest you before you come into contact with others? It may sound over-the-top, but Alexa has been calling the cops on presumed criminals since at least 2017, when a shouting match between a New Mexico couple turned physical only after the device quietly summoned police […]

via Amazon’s Alexa now offering to diagnose coronavirus

7 thoughts on “Amazon’s Alexa now offering to diagnose coronavirus

    • Lara, some of us “conspiracy theorists” knew this was coming decades ago. As usual, and along with so many other “innovations” of the New Word Order technocracy, it was laughed at and labeled science fiction. Let’ see what it feels like, and IS like living in this science fiction world now. This “virus” exists, yet does not. Most of the reported “deaths” are due to pre-existing conditions which were going to cause termination in a short time in any case. The non-bought out medical fraternity admits this openly, esp in Italy. Then if you compare the actual deaths from COVID 9 to deaths by other “accepted and non-reported” viruses and colds, flus and what have you, they fall down into the relative insignificance range. Make no mistake, this grand global fear-demic was carefully planned, developed, released and is being managed for nefarious ends with endless propaganda spewed by pasted-on concerned looks by talking heads which don’t have to worry about their jobs… but who would believe that our honest, humble, selflessly dedicated to public welfare leadership would lie about such a thing? Isn’t it passing strange that the same vile leaders endlessly ridiculed for their lies and corruption have suddenly become the ones to trust? Even Herr Doofus in his Offal Office is coming under the media gun for not taking the “Virus” seriously enough and not engaging the popular game with enough convincing gusto. Where’s the Hollywood trained actor president when you need him? It is telling when someone like Trump unwittingly holds the moral high ground here… A few more months and the hoi polloi will demand that statues to Bill and Jeff be erected in all major cities as the saviours of mankind.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m really inclined to agree with you Sha’Tara. We now learn (in the last 2 days) that some coronavirus tests aren’t specific for COVID-19 but read positive for any coronavirus. No wonder 50% of people who test positive show no symptoms at all. While Boris Johnson, who supposedly has it, continues to serve as prime minister of Britain.

        I’ve been really concerned for years that such a large number of elderly people are allowed to die of influenza when excellent antiviral treatments are available.

        In any case, I believe whoever concocted this scheme to kill the global economy has made a mistake. As I understand there is a flurry of organizing in the US around hundreds of mutual aid projects and an April 1 rent strike. In my view one of the primary functions of work is to make people too exhausted and demoralized to organize. And now far too many of them have no work.


        • Well, it’s possible that we could experience some sort of “economic spring” as a result of the chaos in small business work place and loss of jobs. But why were “local” businesses so eager to jump on the panic bandwagon even when it threatened their very economic survival? What triggered the Lemming “migration”? Was it fear, or the hope in some government propagandist promises? The rent strikes are long overdue but is there enough collective ANGER to sustain them? Or is fear still riding point? When fear rules the elites win.


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