Virtual home assistants are the latest additions to a future where knowledge is just a spoken question away. But new technology rarely comes with established boundaries or etiquette.
For Exhibit A, look no further than a recent Burger King ad. At just 15 seconds long, the ad ends with an employee looking right into the camera and delivering the question, “OK Google, what is the Whopper burger?”
That question triggered Google Homes all across the country to activate, then deliver the first sentence of a Wikipedia entry about whoppers: “The Whopper is a burger, consisting of a flame-grilled patty made with 100% beef with no preservatives or fillers, topped with sliced tomatoes, onions, lettuce, pickles, ketchup, and mayonnaise, served on a sesame-seed bun.”
The marketing tactic grabbed some praise, but it also raised privacy concerns and criticism that it was “invasive marketing.”
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