Laura Musgrave

Ever-listening assistants: Privacy and convenience in the use of AI smart speakers

Smart speaker ownership continues to grow, reducing the boundaries between corporations and consumers. More than one in 10 people in the UK now have access to at least one AI smart speaker in their home (Deloitte, YouGov, 2019). For the people living with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri, smart speaker assistants offer convenience in many aspects of home-life. However, what are the dangers of having a smart speaker in your home that’s always listening?

In my research, I explore the intriguing relationship between people and their smart speakers. Using mobile ethnography and surveys, I’m looking at how privacy and convenience are being exchanged. I aim to understand what, if anything, has changed since GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and the privacy headlines of 2018. How do the themes of privacy and convenience affect how people interact with their AI smart speakers?


Laura Musgrave is a Senior User Experience Researcher. She works in UK and international UX research for FTSE 100 retail brand Next. Laura is passionate about developing online technology through an understanding of context and people’s needs and experiences. Her approach to research is grounded in social science training, particularly digital anthropology.