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Too Smart: Be careful what you say around Alexa

Too Smart: Be careful what you say around Alexa

January 8th, 2017 in Opinion Editorial

Amazon's Alexa can do a lot of things—including a few you may not be aware of.
The "intelligent personal assistant" feature of Amazon's Echo speaker responds to voice commands and can set the alarm on your house or the temperature of your heating and air conditioning. You can tell it to play a movie or music, and it will through its control of various electronic devices in your house. It can serve as an alarm clock or remind you of things you need to do or upcoming appointments. Need to know the weather or how traffic is moving along your commute? Just ask Alexa. Those are just a few of the thousands of things Alexa can do. But there's one more you should be aware of.
Recently, a Dallas family got a surprise delivery from Amazon—an expensive dollhouse and 4 pounds of sugar cookies.
But who ordered the items?
It turns out the young daughter of the family, just 6, was having a conversation with Alexa. She told her mother that she had asked Alexa for a dollhouse and some cookies.
And Alexa placed the order.
Amazon confirmed the app can do that but says owners can deactivate voice ordering or require a special code before an order is processed. So if you have Echo and Alexa you might want to look into that.
In the meantime, the little girl will get to enjoy her cookies.
But the dollhouse will be donated to charity.
The mind boggles, pondering what else Alexa is capable of doing. One can only wonder—and worry.

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