Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 16th Mar 2017 22:46 UTC

Today some Google Home owners reported hearing something extra when they asked for a summary of the day ahead from the smart speaker: an advertisement for the opening of Beauty and the Beast. Several users on Reddit have noticed the audio ad and Bryson Meunier posted a clip to Twitter. Some Android users also reported hearing the ad through Google Assistant on mobile.

And from the Total Bullshit Dpt., also known as Google PR:

This wasn’t intended to be an ad. What’s circulating online was a part of our My Day feature, where after providing helpful information about your day, we sometimes call out timely content. We’re continuing to experiment with new ways to surface unique content for users and we could have done better in this case.

It was an ad, plain and simple. A corporate statement like this, which is clearly, utterly, 100% a lie, should be illegal, and punishable by massive fines. This kind of callous behaviour is a disgrace.

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v Lies
by Windows Sucks on Thu 16th Mar 2017 23:00 UTC
RE: Lies
by kurkosdr on Fri 17th Mar 2017 00:30 UTC in reply to "Lies"
kurkosdr Member since:

Well being that our President says a major lie at least once a day and a new one at least once a week there is no way Google will. E held as illigal. Lol.

I hope you understand why I was obligated to downvote this comment as "Off-topic".

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Lies
by winter skies on Mon 20th Mar 2017 10:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Lies"
winter skies Member since:

Because as a Trump sympathizer you feel disturbed by any OT directed against him? Or just because you are very rigorous in downvoting OTs?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Lies
by Alfman on Fri 17th Mar 2017 00:30 UTC in reply to "Lies"
Alfman Member since:

Windows Sucks,

Well being that our President says a major lie at least once a day and a new one at least once a week there is no way Google will. E held as illigal. Lol.

One of these days we're going to be faced with a national crisis, but it will be very difficult to trust that anything he says is not BS. He's already lost all credibility for honesty. Owing to his compulsive lying, trump does not deserve the benefit of a doubt.

Reply Score: 1

To Be, Or Not To Be ...
by Pro-Competition on Fri 17th Mar 2017 00:16 UTC
Member since:

It used to be "Don't be evil", but now apparently they dropped the "don't".

Reply Score: 2

Comment by kurkosdr
by kurkosdr on Fri 17th Mar 2017 00:35 UTC
Member since:

So... it's not ad spam, it's unique and timely content.

So, let's summarise: If you are buying into this whole IoT thing, you are signing up to be subjected to annoying advert... err unique and timely content, planned obsolescence, a degree of vendor-lock-in that greatly surpasses the ones found in most desktop OSes and most mobile OSes (even iOS allows you to use non-Apple online servces, but those IoT devices only connect to the online services of their vendor) and of course the good ol' unpatched security whole which will make sure you will be a valuable money making opportunity to hackers and bot-herders.

Yup, sounds like a deal. Sign me up! (not)

Edited 2017-03-17 00:37 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Surely not that hard
by kwan_e on Fri 17th Mar 2017 13:10 UTC
Member since:

Surely, it's not that hard: will mentioning this increase revenue for something that is being sold? Then yes, it's an advertisement.

I'm not sure there's many false positives with that simple criteria.

Reply Score: 2

Talking to boxes
by ezraz on Fri 17th Mar 2017 13:23 UTC
Member since:

My rich friends spend half their day interacting with these speaking/listening devices. "Alexa - do this", "Alexa - what's that?", for every question and everything they need to do all day.

It's more annoying than googling everything immediately. Instant experts everywhere. No thanks. Until they invent the holodeck or the replicator i'm not interesting in talking to the computer.

Here's a modern scene I witnessed the other night at a friend's house: kids at the table doing homework, dad helping his 3rd grader. "How many cups in a quart?" asks the dad, looking ahead on her homework. She pauses and thinks, then says "Alexa - how many cups in a quart?" Of course Alexa answers. Dad seems a bit confused but then says "OK, yeah, right answer".

I'm standing by the mom watching this and we both say the same thing under our breath to each other - why do homework with Alexa around? How can any of it be verified as your actual best guess?

Why learn any smallish fact at all when AI is there to give you the fact of the matter w/o needed to lift a single finger?

Edited 2017-03-17 13:25 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Talking to boxes
by rklrkl on Fri 17th Mar 2017 13:37 UTC in reply to "Talking to boxes"
rklrkl Member since:

I had to look up on Google how many pints are in a quart, because in the UK we use "imperial" pints and quarts and virtually no-one in the UK uses the term "quart" (next imperial step up from a pint that UK people know is usually a gallon).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Talking to boxes
by shotsman on Fri 17th Mar 2017 17:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Talking to boxes"
shotsman Member since:

Quarts? How quaint.
Shows how behind the times the USA is... Only Joking.

The main point of the post is just the tip of the iceberg. Soon we will see something counting the adverts we have been subject to each and every day. IF you have not had enough of your mandated daily fix of adverts you will get them think and fast before you go to bed.

Then the likes of Alexa will monitor what you buy and how you respond to the adverts. Not bought enough? more adverts. Responded badly to adverts? More adverts.
your life was totally dominated by personlised adverts.

I read A SF story many years ago where the above scenarions were the main thread and how the refusniks fought back.

I hate all forms of advertising and deliberately do not buy anything that has been advertised to me.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Talking to boxes
by rleigh on Sat 18th Mar 2017 19:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Talking to boxes"
rleigh Member since:

It's a quarter gallon, 8/4 = 2 pints. Not in so much common usage now, but it's not so obscure. It used to be a common size for paint tins.

Reply Score: 1

My question is
by darknexus on Fri 17th Mar 2017 13:50 UTC
Member since:

Does this really surprise anyone? This is Google. They're an ad company first and foremost. Duh. Did anyone actually buy one of these things with any other expectation?

Reply Score: 3

Actually true
by Kancept on Fri 17th Mar 2017 14:56 UTC
Member since:

Ads are timely content. If you watch Ads from the 80s, you know they are from the 80s. If that timely content they played for these folks was played 5 years ago, it wouldn't have been timely content. It would have been pre-timely content. We'd need the pre-time police unit!

Reply Score: 1

Comment by vocivus
by vocivus on Fri 17th Mar 2017 19:07 UTC
Member since:

" and we could have done better in this case."

Well they admitted they did a bad job.

This is kind of a first-world problem. We should probably dial back the reaction a bit.

Reply Score: 1

Just stop it.
by cmost on Fri 17th Mar 2017 21:01 UTC
Member since:

If the idiotic people who purchase these overhyped stupid "home" Internet connected devices didn't think they'd have to deal with ads eventually then they were delusional. This is like being shocked when a commercial comes on network television! Either deal with it or do what normal people do and check the weather and news on your phone or from a newspaper!

Reply Score: 2