A Google Home calls the police to end a family dispute

Connected speakers are very practical devices. By combining a speaker with a virtual assistant, you can use your voice to activate connected devices, launch streaming music playlists, or get information such as weather, news or sports scores.

Some models even let you send text messages or make phone calls. In short, connected speakers like Google Home, Apple HomePod or Amazon Echo let you take full control of your home. However, who really controls the house? User or machine? An extraordinary anecdote from New Mexico a few days ago invites us to wonder about this point.

Google Home: A life saved through misinterpretation

The story took place last week in Tijeras, New Mexico. Eduardo Barros was sitting at home with his girlfriend and daughter. Suddenly an argument broke out between the two adults and the couple quickly got into a fight. equipped with gunBarros threatened to kill his “lover”.

While holding the young woman at gunpoint, the Mexican asked her “if she had called the sheriff.” But the house that Barros was responsible for protecting was unwittingly equipped with a Google Home. So the question asked to his girlfriend was: interpreted as a voice commandand the smart speaker (that’s the case) took on the task of communicating with the authorities.

When the police arrived, they took care of the evacuation of the young woman and her daughter. The traumatized battered woman suffered some physical injuries, but fortunately did not require hospitalization. Barros managed to resist the police for several hours. SWAT had to intervene.

The Mexican was finally arrested for possession of firearms, assault and batteries against his partner and refusing to surrender to the authorities. Police say Google Home may have saved a life by calling 911. After the shotgun bullet was intercepted by an Honor 5X, this is further proof that the technology is much more useful than people think.

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