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Americans added a few hundred million smart devices to their homes in 2020

Marketplace – And they’re learning a lot about us. “Back in 2014, when the Echo and its virtual assistant Alexa made their debut, it was called a “Star Trek computer for the home.” Over this past year, our homes have become our own personal Starship Enterprises, as more of us have turned to smart devices like the Echo. In the U.S., manufacturers shipped over 375 million smart home devices in 2020, up 8.8% from the year before. “We saw that the smart home essentially achieved mainstream status,” said Adam Wright, a senior research analyst at the market firm IDC…

The more we ask our smart speakers to do things like play music, turn out the lights, and connect us with family, the more they learn about us. “Whether it’s our personal grooming routines, travel routines, they are getting very attuned to what we’re doing on a daily basis,” said Ifeoma Ajunwa, who studies artificial intelligence and workplace surveillance as a law professor at the University of North Carolina…”

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