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It, She, Alexa…

Artificial Intelligence

Message to self, Alexia is NOT a she, it is an It—seriously! I was never a fan of having a voice-controlled intelligent personal assistant, Amazon Echo (Alexa) in my home and I fought with my husband about it in vain; and as he was determined to get one, he made an “executive” decision to purchase one, regardless. Obviously, my resistance was useless, as my protest turned into questionable devotion and now our Echo, Alexa, has been assigned personal pronouns – she, her…

At first, I was annoyed, very annoyed, especially when that neon blue light comes on without any commands or when the yellowish/orange light lingers, as if it was saying, “talk to the hand…” or at least that’s what I’d like to think. Still, I wonder if she eavesdrops—paranoid much? Yes, thanks for asking… Other times we would have to whisper when talking about her to avoid activating the device, it feels a little like I have to sneak around my own home. But I must admit, she is fun to play with.

Alex at home

I think two of the worst things about Alexa, is not having her available in my car and feeling so dependent on her for nearly everything— turning the lights and television on/off, play music, the time, weather, set timers, random Q&As and on and on….  It’s not perfect, on occasions, I might have to give the same command up to three times to get a response.  Alas, let’s not forget the “pink elephant,” that is, the privacy issue. With so much of our private moments and deeds being recorded and stored, I wonder how much one gives up for a little convenience, even when the “happy ending” is a mere confirmation of Alexa responding to your command with “OK.”

“You may not realize it, but artificial intelligence is all around us.” – Judy Woodruff, Journalist



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Judith L.

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