Digital Assistants: Google and Alexa

Digital Assistants – The Uninvited Guests

I overheard a friend reference his Google Home as the uninvited guest in every conversation. I immediately responded, but is it? I kidded him that the invite came when he purchased the devices and set them up in his home. I, too, have invited a plethora of smart devices into my home for the convenience and the cool factor that comes with having the latest and greatest technology. Yes.

Digital assistants can listen and record everything you say even when you haven’t activated it.

But, understand that technology isn’t limited to just digital assistants. Your phone, tablet, and in some cases your laptops are doing the same things. If this unnerves you, all is not lost as Google Assistant will let you change a setting so it won’t record your voice. And Alexa allows you to delete recordings already made. If all this makes you uneasy, you can delete the recordings already made by Alexa and Google Assistant — but of the two, only Google Assistant lets you pause the process so that your voice won’t be recorded in the first place.

Here’s how to do it. will take you through a step-by-step process for each.

My Favorite Thing About Digital Assistants ‘Nana, my mom grounded me in my room. Will you get her in trouble for me?.’ This phone call from our grandson using his Alexa, who lived states away from us, was the highlight of my wife’s week a short while back. My 6-year-old grandson disobeyed his mom and got sent to his room.⁠ With Alexa in the room with him, it’s was as easy as him saying ‘Alexa, call Nana,’ and he had direct access to a listening ear who wanted to hear all about how unfair his mom was.⁠ For millions of us worldwide, ‘shelter-in-place didn’t mean shelter-all-alone as technology brought comfort to those who live alone and allowed loved ones across the globe to connect and strengthen bonds.

Digital assistants can help you:

  • Make shopping lists and order groceries online for delivery or pickup
  • Connect all your devices to your home audio system
  • Keep your phone unlocked as you approach, or lock it when you leave or fall asleep
  • Turn on your home lights to make coming home easier
  • Sync up all your devices, so they play the same music at the same time All this makes for a highly convenient lifestyle, and the technology is getting better every day.

So I do use and value the benefits of having digital assistants. But the jury is still out whether Alexa or Google Home is my favorite. I have both in almost every room of my house, and I often pitch them against each other, trying to analyze which one is best.

My articles and social media sites are full of my thoughts on smart home devices, the good, the bad, and the ugly. As a tech guru, a parent, a grandparent, and a cyber security expert, I lean towards embracing technology advancements.

But I encourage everyone to use them responsibly to keep you and your loved ones safe and smart with all the guests you’ve invited into your home -both the human and digital guests.

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