Bizarre computer behavior
August 30, 2017 9:36 AM   Subscribe

Twice in the last week while watching videos on on my Chromebook, my computer has transcribed the audio from the video and texted it (presumably using Join) to the last person I either telephoned or texted. This is not a feature of either C&L or Join. How on earth is this happening and how do I get it to stop? Note that it happens in the background and I never know until the person texts me back with "WTF?"
posted by dobbs to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have any voice activated features on your Chromebook, or on a phone/smartwatch/speaker nearby that are connected to your text messages? Can you check the voice history on those devices? It sounds to me like the the video says something sounds like the wakeword and command for the voice assistant to reply to the most recent text ("OK Google/Siri/Alexa, Reply ...", or similar?) , and then it thinks the remaining portion of the video is the content of the message, so it transcribes and sends it.
posted by yuwtze at 11:34 AM on August 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

Hmm. The Join app has a voice activated option that was checked with the word being "computer", but when I said the word, nothing happened, presumably because I've never set it up. I disabled it and will see what happens. Unfortunately, it's randomly happening so no way to easily test.

The thing about Ok Google, which activates my Chromebook and phone, is that it makes a beep after recognizing my call phrase and gives a voice confirmation at the end. This activity has been happening silently.

Thanks, though, yuwtze.
posted by dobbs at 1:44 PM on August 30, 2017

Just in case, check your Google account history. Unless you've disabled it, it will have a transcription and recording of every time you've activated Google Now/Assistant using any device associated with your account. Yes, it's creepy, but is also very handy for situations like this so you can confirm or rule out some Google service gone haywire as the culprit.
posted by wierdo at 1:53 PM on August 30, 2017 [3 favorites]

« Older Simple astronomical observations to make in a dark...   |   How to make a federal government resume when... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.