My Alexa Has Gone Rogue On Me

Anybody else notice their Alexa saying/doing weird stuff recently?

I use Alexa almost daily to play music. And the three performers I ask her to play most often are k.d. lang, Leonard Cohen and Sade. Each of these artists has a playlist that runs several hours.

Lately, Alexa seems to have checked out while she’s gigging at my house. She’s definitely not paying attention to tasks she’s performing. She doesn’t even know when the music is playing and when it’s not.

For example, EVERY time the music (that has been playing for several hours), finishes, Alexa now says:

Sorry. Amazon Music stopped playing sometime ago because there hasn’t been any activity on this device in several hours.”

Alexa

Huh? But the music was playing up until a second ago. How can this high-tech device not know this?

And then there are the mix-ups with certain artists

Again this is a new snafu. Of late, when I ask Alexa to play Sade, invariably she tosses in various other artists who are nothing like Sade, e.g., Macy Gray or Teresa Cooper. The latter is a total unknown from the country music world. This only started happening within the last few weeks.

A friend from the digital music world told me this is Amazon’s way of strong-arming me to sign up for a higher tier of service (vs. just using Prime).

And finally, Alexa isn’t up-to-date on this whole pronoun thing

In writing this – and referring to Alexa as “her” – I thought it only appropriate to ask her what her pronoun was. She was nonplussed and proceeded to tell me what a pronoun is and how to use in a sentence. I’m not sure if I’m disappointed or happy that Alexa wasn’t more “evolved” in this regard.

Bottom Line.

I know Jeff has had a lot of distractions lately but I wish he’d pay a little more attention to our virtual assistant and her work habits. This going rogue thing is the first step to getting fired.

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