A humorous commercial played during the last Super Bowl presented a fictional crisis in artificial intelligence: Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa lost her voice. Her “human stand-ins,” including Anthony Hopkins in character as Hannibal Lecter, unnerved the people asking Alexa for help. Fortunately, Alexa regained her voice and restored order.
The consequences to Amazon of a real failure of Alexa would be obvious—a loss of revenue and, more significantly, a loss of reputation. Indeed, the financial and reputational risks artificial intelligence poses generally to companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google have been widely discussed, as have potential new regulations they might face.
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