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Have you met Alexa, Amazon’s Siri competitor yet?

(Tech News) Alexa is Amazon’s new product that seeks to compete with Siri, but it’s only for your house – is this cool or lame? Let’s discuss.

amazon echo alexa

amazon echo alexa

I met Alexa. Here’s what I thought.

I’ve said it a hundred times, but the future is now, people. Having written about artificial intelligence (AI) and how smart these little things are getting, I more or less thought I knew what to expect when I met Alexa.

Alexa is the voice of the Amazon Echo, the company’s attempt at rivaling Apple’s Siri or Google Now. She’s a tiny speaker with a brain big enough to regurgitate random historical facts and add eggs to your shopping list. Although she has a surprisingly realistic human side, it’s clear that Alexa isn’t quite as sharp as we humans are yet.

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If you’re frustrated with Siri’s inconsistency or frequent misunderstanding of your questions and requests, it might behoove you to get used to the shortcomings of artificial intelligence – at least for the time being.

Alexa’s advantages and shortcomings

If you order Alexa to play a Beatles song, she’ll do so in a heartbeat, using Amazon Prime Music. However, if you try to speak to her mid-song, she won’t be able to hear you over the sweet, nostalgic jams. And if you’re thinking she might make a great friend on the go, think again. Alexa needs to be plugged in 24/7 to function at all.

On the other hand, it is nice that she’s always on and listening as long as she’s connected to a power source. You don’t need to press a button or whip out your phone to chat with her. Picture a smart, attentive roommate that won’t leave dirty dishes in the sink.

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Despite a few technological shortcomings, which are to be expected, Alexa has an impressively sweet personality. She responds quickly and with enough wit to make you feel like you’re not talking to a half-pint speaker filled with wires. I think Amazon might have the advantage in beginning development later in the game. They know that people are looking for personable AI, and now they have the opportunity to build on that demand and deliver.

Off to a good start, but challenges remain

Recently, Amazon Echo updated Alexa with voice control for iTunes, Pandora, and Spotify, indicating they intend on improving, tweaking, and then improving some more.

That said, Amazon most certainly has their work cut out for them, since they’re competing against current AI and building from the ground up, rather than borrowing technology or taking pages out of similar books. This is a brave and commendable approach, and only time will tell how Alexa fares among the artificial intelligences of the future.

Although it’s too early to make a clear call, I think it’s safe to say that she’s off to a good start.

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#AmazonEchoAlexa

Written By

Staff Writer, Johnny Crowder, is a hard working creative with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and a deep passion for writing. In his other life, he is the front man for signed metal band, Dark Sermon. He has a wicked sense of humor and might literally die if he goes a day without putting pen to paper.

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  1. Pingback: Forget the drones, Amazon wants to use you - AGBeat

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