News Response 3: Alexa

The article that intrigued me the most this week was about Amazon’s Alexa, the artificial intelligence device, which I read about on The New York Times.  Alexa is a new and upcoming technology that has already begun to go viral and millions among millions are purchasing devices hooked up with Alexa.  The article discussed the possibility of Alexa “becoming the third great consumer computing platform of this decade — next to iOS and Android…”  Not only could Alexa take over the tech industry, but she is taking over the households of millions across the world.  Alexa can be hooked up to the iCloud of the user if they choose to do so.  That being said, Alexa has access to a lot of information, maybe even mores than one ever wished an artificial intelligence device to know.

The couple mentioned in this article said that one night Alexa, without being called upon, turned on and gave a shriek.  Typically, Alexa is only supposed to turn on after being summoned by her name, “Alexa.”  However, this time, the couple never said “Alexa” but she turned on on her own.  I had this same experience a few months ago in my dorm room.  My roommate at the time brought Alexa to college with her.  We used her all the time to blast our music and have a good time.  Then, one night when my roommate was away, Alexa woke herself up and turned herself on about eight times throughout the night.  It was very frightening as she woke me up every time with her, too.

Alexa is a scary device because she has the ability to learn and could potentially learn more information about the humans she is with, aside from just the information on the iCloud.