The moral of this story should be obvious.
The newest hot gizmo that everybody has to have is “Alexa,” the “home assistant device” that carries out verbal commands–turn your music on and off, play your video, set your thermostat, turn your lights on or off, and order stuff from stores. All you have to do is say, “Alexa, wipe my bum”–well, all right, not quite that far–and the machine does it for you. I mean, who needs the hardship of flipping a light switch on or off?
So what happened recently is, there was a newscast on TV, all about the wonders of Alexa, and the noozie on-screen said, clearly and distinctly, “I love the little girl saying, ‘Alexa ordered me a dollhouse.'” ( http://www.cw6sandiego.com/news-anchor-sets-off-alexa-devices-around-san-diego-ordering-unwanted-dollhouses/ ).
All around the greater San Diego area, where lots of people had forgotten to turn off Alexa when they weren’t using it, Alexa “heard” the newscast and ordered dollhouses. Lots and lots of dollhouses. Expensive dollhouses that these people didn’t want and didn’t know they were getting until they got ’em.
Do we really, truly, for sure need all these devices in our lives?
Well, if you’ve got a houseful of smart TVs and smart phones and smart Alexas, I guess you’d better be very careful what you say, because your little electronic servants are going to pass it on.
General Rule for Life: When somebody is trying to sell you something, or get you to do something, and he uses the adjective “smart”… quickly turn and walk the other way.