Is ‘Alexa’ Creeping You Out?

My wife’s car couldn’t pass inspection because the computer in it has lost its memory. I don’t know why a car needs a computer. Its sole function seems to be to make repairs cost much more than they used to.

Gratuitous, superfluous technology. Which brings us to “Alexa,” amazon.com’s cute little home gizmo that responds to voice commands of all kinds. Sometimes.

Lately, though, people have been reporting that their “Alexa” randomly laughs at them: you hear “a disembodied woman’s voice let out a short, mocking laugh” (http://www.wral.com/alexa-is-randomly-laughing-at-users-and-freaking-them-out/17404325/) for no apparent reason. One user reported that Alexa “suddenly began listing names of local funeral homes and cemeteries, also unprompted.” Hmm…

Amazon says it’s just a wee malfunction that they’re working to fix.

Do we really need a computer to tell us what time it is, instead of us just looking at a clock or wristwatch? How much technology do we really need in our lives?

Maybe Alexa has good reason to laugh at us.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

4 responses to “Is ‘Alexa’ Creeping You Out?

  • Linda Sorci

    This is more than a little creepy. Whoever has actually put one of these spies in their house is foolish, to say the least. Artificial Intelligence should really be called demonic, and from what I’ve heard, that’s the sort of laugh this thing has. Creepy is right!

    Like

  • UnKnowable

    Our society has invited some very undesirable things into our lives and now we seem to be stuck with these things. Computers can do some good things, but like everything else, they need to be controlled and not allowed to become too invasive. Unfortunately, the tide seems to be moving in the wrong direction at the moment.

    Cars actually can make good use of computers to control the engine and even the transmission. The computer senses the rotation of the crankshaft and injects fuel to the proper cylinder at the right time and also trigger the spark plug at just the right millisecond. The same computer samples the exhaust gas and can monitor the fuel:air mixture and make adjustments accordingly. This technology has been in use for over 35 years now and it works well.

    Unfortunately, some want to collect ever more information in these systems and a feckless generation has squandered its privacy. Our cars, our phones, our computers and our credit cards generate a lot of information and there are forces out there whom wish to abuse our privacy in these matters. It’s a real shame.

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    • leeduigon

      So I’m a dinosaur. When the mechanic told me the trouble was with the car’s computer, I said a computer in a car is like a musical toilet. Which, by the way, is a real thing that you can buy for a lot of money.

      Like

  • thewhiterabbit2016

    Another horror movie idea. Malevolent forces use Alexa to put out vibrations that subliminally persuade us to embrace Globalism, Climite Change, and Socialism. Sounds like a scary movie to me!

    Like

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