Google Home breaks up a domestic dispute by summoning sheriffs

A Google Home unit has successfully broken up a domestic dispute between a couple in New Mexico by alerting local sheriffs.

In what is likely a great and terrifying advert for Google Home all at once, Google’s lounge-bound speaker system successfully broke up a domestic dispute between a couple in New Mexico by interpreting a shouted statement as a command.
ABC News reports that a local couple were involved in a potentially violent domestic dispute at a residence in Tijeras, New Mexico, wherein an argument reportedly became physical and involved the use of a firearm.
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A Google Home unit present at the scene happened to interpret the statement of one of the parties – “Did you call the sheriffs?” – as a command, and immediately contacted 911. The local sheriff’s department reported that deputies arrived on the scene shortly thereafter and separated the couple and the daughter of one partner after a crisis negotiation and SWAT team became involved.
Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales praised the role of the Google Home unit for quickly contacting emergency services, notwithstanding happenstance, saying that “The unexpected use of this new technology to contact emergency services has possibly helped save a life. This amazing technology definitely helped save a mother and her child from a very violent situation”.
One partner has subsequently been detained for charges of possession of a firearm and aggravated battery and assault against a household member as well as for false imprisonment.
While the involvement of the Google Home unit in summoning authorities to the scene is a great reminder that technology can play a crucial role in managing both crises at home and abroad, the matter leaves the poignant thought that not all situations and privacy needs are created equally.
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What are your thoughts? How involved should smart devices become in our everyday lives? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!
Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA