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WeWork’s Alexa for Business Experiment Ended

For months we’ve been hearing rumblings about Amazon’s Alexa making inroads into the workplace. Now, WeWork—a co-working space startup—has announced it is suspending its trial of Alexa for Business.

CNBC reports that the trial, which put Alexa into conference rooms at WeWork’s headquarters ended after just two months. The cause for the premature end to the trial is unknown, but Amazon employees reportedly use Alexa for Business to schedule their own meetings. “In a pilot program launched earlier this year, Amazon saw more than half of its meetings — 53 percent to be exact — start by talking to the Alexa voice assistant, instead of manually typing in the call-in information on the existing touch panel, according to internal data obtained by CNBC.”

Of course, security and privacy issues are still swirling around virtual assistants like Alexa, and until those are resolved, businesses may be right to remain wary of these devices in the office. Consider the family who had its conversation recorded and unwittingly sent to a random contact. Now imagine that happened during a sensitive business meeting. The consequences could be much more far reaching, and until people are confident these kinds of issues have been resolved, many will remain wary of its business uses.

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