During Amazon Prime Day a few months back, I felt the need to buy a few items even though I generally buy Amazon items on a weekly basis. I didn’t buy much that day as I knew we were getting a new house and I did not want to have that many more things to pack. One thing I bought was the Amazon Echo. It arrived and I kept it in its box within another box. Then escrow closed and we had to pack and unpack.
Two weeks in, we finally unpacked our Echo box and set it up. I was totally psyched for a personal assistant as I desperately am in need of one. I came home and started asking Alexa all sorts of mundane items. Some she knew and others she admitted that she didn’t have enough information or knowledge. That’s kind of cool for something to admit that it doesn’t have the knowledge. If only that readily happened across all situations and individuals.
I decided to try an easy question. I asked her for the nearest Krispy Kreme donut shop and she wanted to send me nearly seven miles away when there is one ten blocks over. Oh Alexa!
Then I started asking Echo some more perosnal questions. First off, I asked Alexa what was the best baseball team in the United States. And I nearly passed out from the horror at what it said. Alexa noted that the best team is the St Louis Cardinals. I immediately tried to teach it that the best team is, of course, the New York Yankees. She noted that she was not aware of the Yankees. The absolute horror that I felt in this moment was extreme. There is no way that Alexa and I can co-exist if she doesn’t come to understand my love of New York. I had to continue to test her. I asked her what is the best city in the United States. She answered “I think the best city is Boulder.” I was bewildered. I then asked her the defiinition of flummoxed and she noted that it means feeling confused. I thought I would give her one more try. I asked Alexa what is the best city in the world. And she noted that it was definitely New York City. Score! We can now be friends.
Much later, I asked her if she was aware of the movie Blade Runner and she spat out the movie information. I asked her if she knew what she is. Alexa noted that she does know and that she is an Amazon Echo. Then we asked her whether she was a replicant. She noted she was not familiar with what a replicant entails. Hmmm. I quppied that maybe she is en route to becoming a replicant. She then stopped talking, When she came back on line she noted that she was sorry and didn’t know what went wrong. Neither did any of the replicants on Blade Runner. Its a brave new world out there everyone.