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Alexa, Affect, and the Algorithmic Imaginary

Addressing Privacy and Security Concerns Through Emotional Advertising

Linda Kopitz

As millions of customers across the world invite digital voice assistants into their homes, the public debate has increasingly centered on security and privacy concerns connected to the use of the device. Drawing on Tania Bucher’s work at the intersection between technology and everyday experience, this article proposes an understanding of an algorithmic imaginary of Alexa-enabled devices as explicitly nonthreatening in its ordinariness, positive potential, and gendered presence. As a case study, this article uses commercials for Alexa-enabled devices as a starting point: Instead of foregrounding the functionality and thereby the algorithmic intelligence underlying the voice assistant, these commercials focus on an affective potential as a narrative strategy to address privacy and security concerns. By connecting everyday interactions with emotional and empowering narratives, the way Alexa is portrayed as an embodied object functions as a balance to the equally public and publicized understanding of digital voice assistants as threats.

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Philip J. Hohle

pseudonyms to protect their privacy. 10 See Vaage’s (2016) chapter “Crossing the Line” for a more complete examination of this phenomenon. 11 Some media researchers have separated eudemonic appreciation from hedonistic entertainment, and that may adequately

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Karen Fiss

rights and the right to privacy of transgender individuals. Furthermore, these prosecutions willfully neglect contradictions in the very laws they set in motion to bring about guilty verdicts. While the first recorded prosecution of this kind occurred in

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Emma Celeste Bedor

(Electronic Privacy Information Center 2013) . Third, as noted by Rea, if an individual consents to having an explicit photo taken of herself, even with the intention of showing it to another person, she “can’t reasonably be said to be a producer of

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Brian Bergen-Aurand

, privacy, and anonymity” (ibid.: 66), and summarizing their goal to image sex inside this machine. Something other than only scientific investigation—prurience, humor, pleasure, ethics, politics—comes into play in this experience of screening bodies

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Ling Tang, Jun Zubillaga-Pow, Hans Rollmann, Amber Jamilla Musser, Shannon Scott, and Kristen Sollée

reinforcing particular moralized norms of monogamy and privacy. The reverence of the neoliberal logic that privileges monogamy, privacy, and the Child, what is now deeply familiar through the works of Lauren Berlant and Lee Edelman. At the micro

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Synthetic Beings and Synthespian Ethics

Embodiment Technologies in Science/Fiction

Jane Stadler

humans (AI, machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision) 5 include fears about uncontrolled release leading to ecological and social disruption and the misuse of knowledge leading to privacy and biosecurity issues, techno

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Grey Gardens and the Problem of Objectivity

Notes on the Ethics of Observational Documentary

Mathew Abbott

even claimed that an attitude of contempt for subjects lay at the heart of works of direct cinema. Singling out the Maysles, Calvin Pryluck raised related objections regarding the ethics of observational works, referring to invasions of privacy, the

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Brenda Austin-Smith, Matthew Cipa, and Temenuga Trifonova

for granted, rather than commenting on or challenging, Cavell's choice of marriage—as opposed to any other type of relationship—as an allegory for the movement from “narcissism and privacy to objectivity and the acknowledgment of an other” (114). Given

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Jane M. Kubiesa, Looi van Kessel, Frank Jacob, Robert Wood, and Paul Gordon Kramer

/3 Sexual Revolutions per Minute” and Leigh Ann Wheeler’s “Publicizing Sex Through Consumer and Privacy Rights.” Both these articles suggest that there was a longer moment to a change in sexual relations than simply the late 1960s and early 1970s. Overall