OK, I know this is how Amazon watches my every move, and knows my every thought. But what don’t they know about me already?
We drank the Alexa Kool-Aid after doing a house sit for a very high-tech family in Oakland, California. “You’re going to love her!” they said, and I hope our eye-rolls were not visible.
But we quickly got used to saying “Alexa, play dinner jazz” or “Alexa, what’s the weather in Progreso?” or “Alexa, who won the Best Picture Oscar in 2005?” We ordered one while we were up there and brought her down with us.
We now have five of her, stationed in strategic locations. The most frequent use is to stream music wherever we are. (This requires a subscription to a service; we use Spotify for 99 pesos/month.) But we ask her questions, set timers and alarms (“Alexa, set a 30-minute timer” or “Alexa, set an alarm for 7:30AM Monday thru Friday.”), do conversions (“Alexa, how many grams in 13 ounces?”) and, of course, ask those Oscar questions.
But we also use her daily as an Intercom system. Our two offices are miles apart in our house, so I can just say “Alexa, drop in on Speranza’s office” and we can have a conversation.
We’re using a fraction of one percent of what she can do, but we continue to poke around. And she is very polite, sometimes offering to do more. (“Would you like me to set that alarm for you every day?”)
BY THE WAY: Remember the computer voice in Star Trek? Despite them being light years ahead of us, they.still.had.a.computer.that.talked.like.this. Alexa’s voice is completely realistic (maybe that’s what scares some folks).