Originally Posted by BBEG
Ever use Dragon, by chance? It's very
good at picking up words and phrases accurately. Not a stretch at all to see more personalized targeted advertising based on what a modern voice recognition software hears. Heck, it might even tip off law enforcement to escalating home situations or criminal activity. If you've kept up at all with government usage of newer technologies, it is typically executed in a "better to ask forgiveness than permission" standpoint. I can almost guarantee this will land in a high court somewhere in the US for 4th Amendment concerns.
You still fail to recognize the fact you would be listening to millions of people at one time. I know exactly how well Dragon works or doesn't really when you start having multiple people talking in normal conversation tones. Grab a couple microphones and get 3 or 4 people talking all at into a single microphone and see what comes out. That would be assuming that the kinect is doing all the processing and monitoring and making the decision to flag something for further investigation.
Another point of contention I would make would be that the "keywords" that are flagged in conversations for further investigation are actually quite common. Ever sat in the same room with a 12 year old playing a game? Immediate flagging for analysis. How many 12 year olds play xbox? The amount of normal conversations that would be flagged would be very high. You are right it easy enough to pick keywords but analyzing a conversation is a much different matter. So each flagged conversation that would be flagged would then need additional analysis by a person which would be a massive effort on Microsoft's part or even all government agencies combined.
Now for advertising will Microsoft be listening for keywords like Coke, Advil, etc..Possibly but it would still take quite a bit more effort than looking at credit cards and local sales figures which are easy to get. Hey not to mention we have a very easy way to see if the xbox is uploading anything. I hope I am not the only person that actually watches my network traffic going in an out.
I do keep up with what is government agencies are allowed to do as it was kind of my job. There are currently only two forms of digital communications that can be monitored and recorded for use in a federal case. Those are GPS locations from cellular devices and VoIP conversations when encrypted by a third party service. (Encrypt it yourself and you are not required to decrypt it without a warrant.) To watch or record would be the definition of a "bug" and are very heavily regulated and covered by super-warrants. Technically the only agency that would be allowed to get around the need for a warrant would by the NSA. That isn't to say though that it isn't that hard for any other agencies to quickly get the NSA to be involved in an investigation. Still it takes quite a bit more than a few keywords from conversations to even appear as a blip on the radar to anyone.
In the end it just simply does not make sense to me to attempt this type of data mining. To believe some (not all) of the claims made by people spouted in this thread and other forums would require some massive leaps that I cannot make in my thought processes. Many things are possible but very few are likely.