The New York Times reports Stanford University computer scientists are warning about the consequences of a race to control what they believe will be the next key consumer technology market: virtual assistants. The group received a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to create a virtual assistant that allows users to avoid giving personal information while maintaining some independence from technology companies. Computer Systems Designer Monica Lam says the group is concerned virtual assistants, such as Alexa and Siri, in their current designs, could have more of an impact on data information than today’s websites and apps. “A monopoly assistant platform has access to data in all our different accounts. They will have more knowledge than Amazon, Facebook and Google combined,” Lam said. (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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