Google Home Mini – Helpful or invasive?

Joe: Welcome back. You’re listening to the Being Found Show. This is the best two hours of radio for business and if you’re listening to us you will be found by more buying customers on the Internet. We’re going to talk about it if it matters. Also, the goal here is to put the internet to work for you not against you. All right so we’re going to do that. We’re coming to you from KCNR 1460 AM and now there are some things going on in the advertising world that frankly, I’m just not ready to get behind yet. And this story kind of freaks me out a little bit. And that’s this whole idea of these devices from Amazon or Google or Apple that come into your house and listen to you. What are they called like Echo.

Chauncey: Yeah or Siri.

Joe: Yeah. Yeah. So the idea here is from the consumer’s perspective is how cool is it that you can tell your TV to turn on or off or while you’re cooking, You can say, hey turn on, you know music right. So I get I But what’s what’s the motivations for Amazon and Google and Apple and things like that too, to have something listening to you. And the reality is they are merchandising or marketing companies right. So how much better is that for them if they can start to compile data on what you’re saying or thinking or even if it’s just you searching. They can they can learn more theoretically. Again this is just kind of my own little theories but they can learn more about your natural speak of what you would like.

Chauncey: OK I can play devil’s advocate that a little bit because what they’re doing is you know they’re tracking speech so they’re getting a better understanding of speech across the board from a lot of different people. And then they’re also tracking intention from your speech in order to have better results for your speech orders right. Now so maybe the tone of voice and all this stuff you know eventually they’ll be able to truly cater to exactly what you want you to know. And so someday I might be able to say man I’m thirsty. Alexa hook me up and it’ll give me exactly the drink that I want.

Joe: Yeah. And I suspect you know that’s what’s happening. And that’s what they’re doing. And for businesses you know I think a lot of us local businesses are a million miles away from that mattering to us you know that’s still out there but we should be watching what these monster companies are doing because it will eventually impact us.

Chauncey: Now having said all that and I agree when I say Alexa, find me a web design company Alexa’s using a search engine.

Joe: Right. So search bots like Google are getting where they’re looking for the text that is more naturally written than a copywriter would write. In other words, it may not be perfect grammar. They’re looking for more like somebody would have spoken when they’re looking at content. And the reason is so much of search now is being done through Siri or OK Google or these devices or you know it might just be why you’re driving and you tell your Google Maps to find your restaurant near you. I don’t even know if restaurant near me existed in Google search until devices started coming around right. It became a more natural thing. Now here’s what’s going on though. So I think you’re right. I agree. Nothing do about it’s happening. However, Google was about ready to release and let me read this article from Businessinsider.com and let me just read a little bit of it so Google will permanently disable a control on its new $50 speaker after the gadget. Listened in on some users. What ended up happening is a there was a reporter from Android police I think it was something like that where they’re watching what’s going on with Android and Google and all that. So he got the device early and he was going to do a review and he found out that this device was actually listening recording and pushing it up to the server. Now Google says that this was just a problem with the button and the software and it will go ahead and permanently deactivate that in the next update and that should solve the problem. I don’t know.

Chauncey: Does that mean that it was listening prior to my saying OK Google?

Joe: Yes, it is always listening.

Chauncey: So like when my wife and I are talking about what we’re making for dinner my speakers listening to that.

Joe: That’s right. That’s the whole point here that the way you’re supposed to activate this device and really all of these devices. Is there some phrase you say and in this case, it’s OK Google or there’s a button you push or hold. In this case, it just listened and recorded and uploaded to Google servers.

Chauncey: So basically if we want to talk smack about Google we have to lock ourselves in the bathroom and whisper.

Joe: Right. Well yeah. This isn’t a conspiracy show but it is pretty crazy. You know that that’s going on. Now, this was only a $50 speaker. This will probably sell like crazy and be in almost every kid’s bedroom, every house, this is mass production. So why do we care for this show? Well, it’s a little creepy. But the other reason we care and we’ve got to know. We have to know that these monsters who are really forming the way marketing and consumers buy are refining what they do as much as they can. And that is leading towards speech and how people search and in our world to be found or, Chauncey for us get our clients found, we can get them found in Maps Google maps and things like that where people speak into the map and say you know we’re having to, oh go ahead.

Chauncey: I think what you were saying about near me is being a search term is a prime example of us staying on top of changes in technology because that term didn’t exist prior to somebody talking and now it’s the hottest search are finding services around here.

Joe: Yeah yeah. If you and I would have been helping somebody get their web page found before this, before speech came into play, you know it would have been restaurants in Redding California. Or a Mexican food place, you know, next to Mt. Shasta mall, you know. But these devices are going to work for the consumer and for the big search engines that are trying to do a better job of giving the consumer what they want. So to stay out of that loop is a mess now. So this would be creepy and telling. Now one other story I want to go into real quick have you seen this. So let’s see this was in Social Tech Crunch. Steve Wozniak, he’s one of the co-founders of Apple. He’s launching something called was WozU. You know what’s really interesting. Let me read a little bit about this from the article, Steve Wozniak changed the world with Steve Jobs blah blah blah. We’ll start an online learning platform focus on both students and companies that will eventually hire those students. OK, so he is Cloud Wise Academy. What I was thinking is this. I feel a little vindicated like I’m ahead of him. You know that’s the whole idea of Cloud Wise Academy is to train the students and the business. That’s why we have the being found show. Right. So of course, I wanted to go give this guy a high five. Probably the nicest guy in tech too.

Chauncey: So you know maybe your Apple phone told him about it.

Joe: That’s right. Sorry. I actually shut Siri off. So WozU will also offer platforms for tech companies to recruit. So he’s going full circle. He’s going to set this up to train and retain the workforce for tech companies. He’s also going to create the curriculum that will be given to K through 12 students, who are doing stem programs. Here’s his deal. He says his goal is to educate and train people in unemployable digital skills without putting them years into debt. So people often are afraid to choose a technology based career because they think they can’t do it. “I know they can. And I want to show them how”, says Steve Wozniak. I just want to show them this is Cloudwise Academy. The only thing is he’s got a heck of a lot more resources to do this. And if anything else this just re-invigorated my commitment to Cloud Wise Academy and its goal to train and equip our workforce for this new economy.

Chauncey: Well you’ve hired some people straight out of the school and they have turned out to be some of your best employees.

Joe: They’re amazing. Yeah. Yeah. They’re amazing. And there are people, pretty much anyone that went through the school thus far, almost without exception, has never coded a thing. And was not even in tech until they took our class and there are several people who have careers now or working for me or worked for other people. Not to mention instructors. You’re an instructor. We’ve had other great instructors. Nathan noble and people like that who get to learn from your wisdom and your experience because that’s how Cloudwise works. It’s not theoretical or kind of the normal education system we actually hire trainers and instructors who know these things and are working the skills right now and teach. Again cool stuff in the news and Cloud Wise Academy. I’m just re-invigorated like whats going on and I’ll get into that a little bit more.

Listen to the full episode: Being Found Show