Answer Key: Siri Can Hear This Hidden Command.

Lesson Plan: Smart Devices Can Hear Hidden Messages That We Can’t

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

  1. accustomed |əˈkəstəmd| adjective [attributive]-customary or usual: his accustomed route.
  2. undetectable |ˌəndəˈtektəb(ə)l| adjectivenot able to be detected.
  3. white noise |ˌ(h)wīt ˈnoiz| nounPhysics noise containing many frequencies with equal intensities.
  4. stealthy |ˈstelTHē| adjective (stealthier, stealthiest) –behaving, done, or made in a cautious and surreptitious manner, so as not to be seen or heard: stealthy footsteps.
  5. Malicious |məˈliSHəs| adjective-characterized by malice; intending or intended to do harm: malicious destruction of property | the transmission of malicious software such as computer viruses.
  6. deceptions  |dəˈsepSH(ə)n| noun- the action of deceiving someone: obtaining property by deception. a thing that deceives: a range of elaborate deceptions.
  7. exploit verb |ikˈsploit| [with object]–make full use of and derive benefit from (a resource): 500 companies sprang up to exploit this new technology.
  8. commercial  |kəˈmərSHəl adjective–making or intended to make a profit: commercial products.
  9. subliminal |ˌsəbˈlimənl| adjective Psychology (of a stimulus or mental process) below the threshold of sensation or consciousness; perceived by or affecting someone’s mind without their being aware of it.
  10. invasion  |inˈvāZHən| noun-an unwelcome intrusion into another’s domain: random drug testing of employees is an unwarranted invasion of privacy.

Source: New Oxford American Dictionary

Reading Comprehension

True /False/NA-Statements

  1. F- Researchers in China and the United States have begun demonstrating that they can send hidden commands.
  2. T-Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant are the three major devices listed.
  3. T-In the wrong hands, the technology could be used to unlock doors, wire money or buy stuff online.
  4. F-Berkeley researchers published a research paper  saying they could embed commands directly into recordings of music or spoken text.
  5. F-Nicholas Carlini is a fifth-year Ph.D. student in computer security at U.C. Berkeley.
  6. T-Mr. Carlini believes that malicious people already employ people to give hidden commands.
  7. T-The bottom line is that artificial intelligence can be tricked and manipulated.
  8. F-Smartphones and smart speakers that use digital assistants are set to outnumber people by 2021.
  9. T-Amazon said it has taken steps to ensure its Echo smart speaker is secure.
  10. T-There is already a history of smart devices being exploited for commercial gains through spoken commands.

Grammar Focus:


This month, some of those Berkeley researchers published a research paper that went further, saying they could embed commands directly into recordings of music or spoken text. So while a human listener hears someone talking or an orchestra playing, Amazon’s Echo speaker might hear an instruction to add something to your shopping list.