Device call cops when it “hears” an argument.

Techies will sing the praises of this but those that value freedom would do well to see the slippery slope this puts us on.

The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department in New Mexico responded to an emergency call Sunday night that was placed by a home assistant device, believed to be Amazon Echo’s Alexa. A crisis negotiation team and a SWAT team were also sent to the home after the deputies assessed the situation.

Eduardo Barros was house-sitting with his girlfriend and her daughter Sunday night at a residence in Tijeras, some 15 miles east of Albuquerque. The couple got into an argument and the altercation became physical, according to the Bernalillo County Sheriff Department’s spokesperson, Deputy Felicia Romero.

Barros allegedly wielded a firearm and threatened to kill his girlfriend, asking her: “Did you call the sheriffs?” A smart speaker, which was hooked up to a surround sound system inside the home, recognized that as a voice command and called 911, Romero said.

The woman, who suffered injuries, was traced from the home with her uninjured daughter. Barros was arrested after a standoff lasting several hours. Sheriff’s officers were not sure what kind of device had called 911. Google doesn’t support phone calls, and Amazon doesn’t support calling 911.

Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office can confirm the existence of a call because, Deputy Romero told us, the line was left open and, in addition to the fighting the victim can be overheard in the background saying, “Alexa, call 911,” seemingly unaware that a call had already been made and that calling 911 isn’t enabled on Amazon Echo devices.

We may never know exactly how (or if) Alexa made that call, but one thing is clear, the digital act may have saved someone’s life.

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  1. Eskyman says:

    Won’t be long until no one is allowed to turn off their “home assistant devices.” After all, “think of the children.” “If it only saves one life.” “If you’re not doing anything wrong, why would you worry about it.” “Doesn’t bother me, I’m not a criminal. What have you got to hide?” These days, 70″ TVs are common, but soon we’ll have a Video Wall, complete with camera. You won’t ever want to turn it off, and besides, that’ll be illegal.

    There are penumbras and emanations that somehow give “rights” to women to abort children, that allow COC (Criminals of Color) out of jail because they are COC, that allow POC to have lots of free stuff (paid for by people who are not POC, natch) and all kinds of other things that no one can actually see in the written Consitution; and other “rights” that say the plain language of (say,) the 2nd Amendment doesn’t mean what it says, it actually means that no one is allowed weapons unless the Almighty State thinks they’re OK.

    It’ll be a brave new world, won’t it. This started before 1984, didn’t it? Somebody should write a book or two, but soon nobody would be allowed to read it. Books burn at 451F, don’t they? Too dangerous, unless read under Government supervision!

  2. taminator013 says:

    I may be paranoid, but I don’t have any smart appliances and I still use a dumb phone. I also have tape over the camera on my PC……………….

  3. redneckgeezer says:

    Anyone who uses one of those damn things is asking for trouble. Alexa, “Can you please kiss my ass?”

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