Google Home Hears Domestic Dispute and Calls Cops

This is the stuff or dream and nightmare.  According to All That Is Interesting Dot Com,

As reported by ABC News, New Mexico man Eduardo Barros was house-sitting at a home in Tijeras with his girlfriend and her daughter this past Sunday.

Barros then got into a fight with his girlfriend, and things grew violent. At some point, he allegedly threatened her with a gun, saying: “Did you call the sheriffs?” However, the home that the couple was occupying had an active smart home device running inside.

The Google Home misinterpreted Barros’ threat as a voice command, and called 911. When the police heard the altercation over the phone, they immediately rushed over with a SWAT team. After a long standoff, the police were able to capture Barros.

My understanding is that to activate Google Home, you have to say “OK, Google,” although sometimes “OK” is enough, but I am not quite convinced on the details. (remember it can be set to recognize different voices.)

But the general point is that it would be possible to have smart devices, including phones, set to summon help, in pre-detirmined situations.

You can imagine an interface in which the user says ye or no,to calling the police upon certain words or phrases are used, or a level of shaking, or a combination of shaking and a voice, etc, etc.  You could imagine a cancel system.

At the same time, it has to be that the recordings of your 1984 communications are really protected against government access by multiple layers of law and technology.

A lot to be settled and thought through.



About richardzorza

I am deeply involved in access to justice and the patient voice movement.
This entry was posted in Artificial Intelligence, Criminal Law, Domestic Violence, Family Law, Mobile Technology, Policing, Remote Services, Science, Security, Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Google Home Hears Domestic Dispute and Calls Cops

  1. Claudia Johnson says:

    For those who love sci fi–maybe time to dust off Asimov’s rules for robots?!

    1. Robot might not injure a human by act or omission/inaction, nor let one come to harm.
    2. Robots obey human’s except if the command contradicts rule 1.
    3. Robot must protect its own existence as long as that does not conflict with 1 or 2.

    Right now I’m reading “The Naked Sun”. It had been a while since I had read him. The calling 911 fits into #1–do not let a human come to harm. Interesting to think of scenarios where the 3 rules could be playing out right now.


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