What Siri and Alexa Can Tell Us About Listening

Virtual assistants don’t really listen

Do virtual assistants, like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, actually “listen”?

By some textbook definitions, they do. They have very good microphones that never get tired. They remember what we say. They “think about”, or at least process what we say. And they respond, sometimes with surprising usefulness. But despite all this, people aren’t going home and sharing their days with…