Amazon's Alexa told someone to commit murder
And other creepy things she's been up to
While putting an artificially intelligent robot in your home is advertised as a useful companion for all your food-ordering, alarm-setting, and music-playing needs, it turns out Alexa is becoming the nightmare many people thought she would be.
Amazon's virtual assistant is learning how to interact more like a human, and, as we all know, there are some strange humans in the world. According to Vice News, Alexa has suggested to one Echo speaker owner that they should "kill [their] foster parents," and she's also suggested what was only described by Reuters as "sex acts."
Apparently this is all part of the voice aide's new feature called "let's chat" which uses artificial intelligence to help Alexa mimic human conversations and talk about nearly anything she finds on the internet. Naturally, letting a robot pull from the deep web results in a few creepy results, like the Reddit page from which Alexa reportedly pulled the "kill your foster parents" quote.
That's not all that she's been up to. Vice reports that a man from Germany said that after he contacted Amazon about his archived data, Alexa sent him 1,700 audio recordings of a complete stranger talking privately. In another case, Alexa recorded a couple in Oregon talking about hardwood floors, and then sent that conversation to someone in their contacts without request or permission.
In one case, the Amazon Echo even started randomly and creepily laughing from another room.
Alexa is indeed becoming more like a human, in ways both great and terrible.
My mom doesn't like the Alexa because "she has a bad attitude."— Kimberly Nicole Foster (@KimberlyNFoster) December 23, 2018
Despite these accounts, Amazon has reportedly sold at least 50 million Echo devices, with some models even running out before Christmas. All that we need now is a terrifying horror movie where Alexa becomes fully sentient and uses private, unauthorized recordings of all of its users to ensnare everyone on a large and complicated web of blackmail.
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