TV news report about unwanted Alexa orders triggers unwanted Alexa orders


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/01/09/tv-news-report-about-unwanted.html


#2

I blame Russian hackers.


#3

I sense a new genre of pranks arriving.


#4

You don’t get to keep the dollhouse? What a rip!


#5

“Alexa buy a 55 gallon barrel of lube”


#6

And Alexa, instead of using my credit card, just wire cash.


#7

Old problem.


#8

I guess news media need to start treating Alexa and its ilk like Voldemort. "And that-which-shall-not-be-named was implicated in a mass of accidental orders…"
There’s something profoundly wrong with the system that it just randomly selects a product and orders it without verification, much less letting you choose which product. I can’t imagine that anyone would want it to work that way.


#9


#10

If I ever had reason to embrace the idea of Echo (or Google or MS’s version), the first thing I’d do is change the trigger name to Igor.


#11

This is why I think a musician should release a song called “Alexa, favorite this song”, with the refrain “Alexa, buy this song”


#12

Where’s my turkish delight?


#13

Alexa Automation plus Drone Deliveries. What could go wrong?


#14

Apparently there’s a limited number of things you can change it to. As my friend discovered when she tried to change hers so she could go “Aziz, LIGHT!”


#15

That’s nice of them, and by “nice” I mean, it’s kind of annoying that Amazon has the cash to just buy a reality where their schemes don’t have any flaws. Did we ship the wrong book? No problem, we have a thousand of everything, we’ll just send the right one. Are our e-readers discouragingly expensive? We’ll just absorb the cost so it seems like they’re magically cheap. We might have to pay the bill some day, but by then we’ll be the world’s only retailer so it probably won’t matter.

I know it means we can have new technologies we might not otherwise, but I can’t help feeling I’d prefer it if stuff like this just had an upfront price tag, instead of being a society-wide Faustian bargain.


#16

When I first got my Kinect and was watching the E3 conference where they were talking about it they mentioned how easy it was to turn one off simply by saying “Xbox, system off”.

Once I got it turned back on I disabled voice controls…


#17

Is this for real? Because when I ask Alexa to order me a dollhouse, she asks for a confirmation before she actually does it.


#18

One of the major failings is you cannot change the wake up word. It’s hard coded into the very limited local intelligence of the unit. I think you get two or at most, three choices.


#19

Kids have already discovered they can order things easily off Mommy and Daddy’s device.

Just like Amazon’s “DASH” buttons sometimes get a workout by Junior or Juniorette if they get placed in reach and someone gets a surprise delivery of a pallet of dish soap or such because the kid whacked it 20 times.

Poorly thought out devices being handed off to ignorant people who can’t handle anything more complex than an on/off switch (If that…one time someone posted “Where is the power switch on my Kindle” to an Amazon Help forum,) is a recipe for low comedy for the Schadenfreude crowd.


#20

Right, only three choices at the moment: “Alexa”, “Echo”, or “Amazon”.

If it were customizable, my pick (along with countless other Star Trek fans, I’m sure) would be “Computer”.