Invoking virtual assistants like Amazon's Alexa and Google Home to do your bidding are an impressive convenience, but sometimes, things get lost in translation.
The technological marvels have got nothing on "Rosie the Robot" from The Jetsons, but what Alexa and Google Home are capable of doing is still jaw dropping.
Alexa, Amazon's intelligent personal assistant, made her debut in November 2014. The program is capable of voice interaction, playing music, giving traffic and weather reports, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, playing audiobooks, and is a few capabilities shy of scratching your back.
Similarly, the Google Assistant is a variant of Alexa that was announced in March of 2016, to rival Amazon. Google uses in-house and third-party services to interact with voice recognition to activate smart home appliances, enable hands-free phone calls, as well as play music.
Both are exceptionally cool and convenient devices designed to make our lives easier. Some of the time.
Call it growing pains. These tech devices still have a long way to go, as the occasional glitch inconvenienced these homeowners.
Google Home fail: Google's Super Bowl ad accidentally activates numerous personal assistants https://t.co/kYmkCRAY2p via @IBTimesUK— Rachel Middleton (@Rachel Middleton)1486430058.0
Me: Alexa, turn on family room lights. Alexa: Okay, playing "Livin' on a Prayer, lullaby version." #alexafail #robottakeover 😜— Lindsay McGregor (@Lindsay McGregor)1499243702.0
Alexa’s still not having it. #alexafail #snowuk #london https://t.co/lABnwo0cVz— Sameer Padania (@Sameer Padania)1512903150.0
One of my kids ordered a McDonald's book yesterday thinking it was a meal. The book arrives soon! #alexafail #alexa https://t.co/jxp53zSTjY— Mandeep Singh Lota (@Mandeep Singh Lota)1513006919.0
@MandeepLota Hope it's a good read!— Matthew Pleasant (@Matthew Pleasant)1514470227.0
Not all glitches were fails. Some were ominous and invoked a sense of uneasiness in a household that had both virtual assistants communicating with each other. Allison tweeted:
My aunt got a google home for Xmas & she already has “Alexa”. This morning we were messing around with the google home and asked, “okay google what do you think of Alexa” and it answered “I like her blue light” and from across the room Alexa turned on and said “thanks”. im scared
Let the robots flirt https://t.co/ZDaQOIABHW— BEN SIMMONS ROTY (@BEN SIMMONS ROTY)1514441546.0
While another incident was just downright creepy.
@AllisonCalhoun1 My mom’s Alexa randomly turned on and started glowing and my mom was like “Alexa what are you doin… https://t.co/TgO6FlNXeL— Moe 💅🏾 (@Moe 💅🏾)1514354560.0
But rest assured, there won't be an A.I. apocalypse.
@fubardaddy @worivh_ @AllisonCalhoun1 I asked my Google Home if she is Skynet. She said “NO WAY. Skynet hates peopl… https://t.co/Wl7admWLCG— Kathleen Smith (@Kathleen Smith)1514357873.0
@KikkiPlanet @fubardaddy @worivh_ @AllisonCalhoun1 Well, that's exactly what a spy robot would say, so... https://t.co/F1xiunUgnF— Susie Erjavec Parker (@Susie Erjavec Parker)1514360695.0
Apparently, Alexa thinks she's cornered the market on comedy. Emily tweeted, "One of my supervisors kids was telling her a joke in front of her Alexa and out of no where Alexa said 'thats a funny joke.' And then proceeded to tell her own joke."
@AllisonCalhoun1 One of my supervisors kids was telling her a joke in front of her Alexa and out of no where Alexa… https://t.co/KGwXG1jW8i— emily🇨🇦 (@emily🇨🇦)1514349303.0
Some struggled with the invasion of privacy. Alexa has the capability of regularly "listening-in" in private conversations and can stream voice recordings always to be ready to respond to a trigger or wake word.
@cc_spider @CityOfHushHush @GeorgeHillardJr @kDM2050 @AllisonCalhoun1 @kaleslorraine I just read today that echos o… https://t.co/C3qbgm1FyT— Henry (@Henry)1514354774.0
@HenryCheatum @CityOfHushHush @GeorgeHillardJr @kDM2050 @AllisonCalhoun1 @kaleslorraine I would hope that's how it… https://t.co/OCqjMrQ9Bj— Courtney (@Courtney)1514357457.0
Alexa and Google Home can identify any person in the room with non-stop audio pick-up from enabled devices. But not always.
hearing my roommate try and fail repeatedly to be recognized by the Google home is the slapstick comedy I needed tonight.— one single Jame (@one single Jame)1513569714.0
Alexa carries evidence.
@CityOfHushHush @GeorgeHillardJr @kDM2050 @AllisonCalhoun1 @kaleslorraine Apparently devices like Alexa are always… https://t.co/iRlBcWc75A— Courtney (@Courtney)1514349725.0
The device's listening function still poses a problem when you have a loquacious pet in the house.
African Gray Parrot places Amazon Alexa order. https://t.co/Zu2NfASRAR ht Erica Lyons of @LTECLabWindsor— Ryan Calo (@Ryan Calo)1506361337.0
You can't say Alexa isn't motivational.
Um. Thanks, Alexa. #alexafail https://t.co/Qm6ZOeF1YV https://t.co/YRWPXrqCRh— Ron Stempkowski (@Ron Stempkowski)1510066916.0
This will teach you to be more articulate.
I told @Amazon #Alexa to "add Pampers" to our shopping list. This is what she heard. No, Alexa, I don't want cancer… https://t.co/XzToYWHXkc— Meranda Adams (@Meranda Adams)1493331294.0
In spite of it all, human error will still be dominant.
I just called Siri Alexa. I'm starting to think there is too many fake women in my life. #sirifail #alexafail #lifefail— BrentlyDavis Koetter (@BrentlyDavis Koetter)1489460578.0
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