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Amazon Has Officially Co-Opted the Name Alexa

Millions use the virtual assistant, while those naming babies Alexa dropped to just 490 last year

(Newser) - Where did all the Alexas go? Sherwood News asked this question after OpenAI announced its new ChatGPT-4o voice assistant (which doesn't go by Scarlett, but sure does sound like a certain actor by that name ). Amazon's Alexa unsurprisingly rocked the boat in baby names when it was...

Kids Have a Shaky Sense About Alexa's Feelings
Kids Have
a Shaky Sense
About Alexa's
new study

Kids Have a Shaky Sense About Alexa's Feelings

Study finds that children are a little confused about the capabilities of smart devices

(Newser) - Young children don't have a great sense about whether smart devices such as Alexa and Siri have feelings like us, a new study suggests. Researchers in Scotland surveyed more than 160 kids ages 6 to 11 and found that many are unclear about whether the devices can think for...

Girl, 6, Saved Mom's Life Twice With Alexa

Scottish woman with heart condition praises 'wee superstar'

(Newser) - A Scottish woman is praising her "wee superstar" of a daughter for using Alexa to save her life—twice. Emma Anderson, 27, was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which makes the heart muscle too thick to function properly, when she was 15, Sky News reports. The Glasgow resident received a...

Amazon Fined $25M in Child Privacy Case

Company also has to pay refunds over Ring privacy issues

(Newser) - Amazon agreed Wednesday to pay a $25 million civil penalty to settle Federal Trade Commission allegations it violated a child privacy law and deceived parents by keeping for years kids' voice and location data recorded by its popular Alexa voice assistant. Separately, the company agreed to pay $5.8 million...

Researchers' Killer Later Died in Murder-Suicide: Prosecutors

Investigators had hoped Alexa would provide answers in Kansas City case

(Newser) - Update: Prosecutors in Kansas City said Thursday that the killer of two South American medical researchers has died in a murder-suicide. In a statement, officials said Kevin Ray Moore, 42, killed the two and then set their apartment on fire. Moore was found dead in a car near Worlds of...

Mom: My Girl Asked Alexa a Question, Got Dangerous Reply

When asked to suggest a challenge, Alexa told her to touch penny to exposed prongs

(Newser) - Ask Alexa to tell you a joke and she'll comply. Ask her to give you a challenge and she could seriously harm you—or so claims the mom of a 10-year-old girl. Kristin Livdahl wrote on Twitter that she and her daughter were making a day of crummy weather...

Author Thinks He's Found the Voice of Alexa

Book identifies her as Nina Rolle of Colorado

(Newser) - Alexa's real name is Nina. At least, that's the assertion put forth in a new book about Amazon by Brad Stone, reports the Guardian . Stone says the person who voices the company's virtual assistant is Colorado voice-over artist Nina Rolle. Neither Rolle nor Amazon is confirming or...

Woman Dying of Coronavirus Asked Alexa for Help 40 Times

'Oh, Alexa, I'm going to hurt'

(Newser) - A Michigan woman dying from COVID-19 asked Amazon's Alexa for help at least 40 times in her final days, her sister says. LouAnn Dagen, one of 31 residents at the Metron nursing home in Cedar Springs to test positive for coronavirus, repeatedly asked the virtual assistant for help managing...

Young Children Ask Alexa for Toys. Guess Who Pays

Parents find out the hard way that you don't need to spell to order

(Newser) - Children too young to spell are finding Alexa to be more efficient than Santa Claus: They're asking her to find the items on their wish lists and tapping "buy" on their parents' devices. That means moms and dads now have to find ways to block the little hackers....

Alexa Gets Emotional
Alexa Gets Emotional

Alexa Gets Emotional

Amazon lets developers use 'happy/excited' and 'disappointed/empathetic' tones

(Newser) - If you thought HAL 9000 got emotional , check out Alexa—who now has three levels of excitement and three of disappointment added to her somewhat robotic voice, GeekWire reports. On Tuesday, Amazon said developers can have Alexa reply to US users in "happy/excited" or "disappointed/empathetic" intonations. "For...

After Death, Police Want Answers— From Alexa

Amazon turns over recordings from couple's home

(Newser) - Police trying to figure out how a fight between a Florida couple ended with a woman dead, a spear in her chest, are analyzing recordings to see if the Amazon Echo Dot smart speakers in their home hold the answer. Sylvia Galva Crespo, 32, was killed at her home in...

Amazon Alexa Gets Its First Celebrity Voice

Samuel L. Jackson will come in a clean or explicit version

(Newser) - If Alexa's normal voice is too soothing and bland, you'll soon be able to have Samuel L. Jackson cursing at you instead, if that's to your liking. Per USA Today , Amazon announced a slew of new products and services on Wednesday, and among them was a notice...

Amazon Sends Guy Alexa's Recordings From Another Home

Scary stuff

(Newser) - After a man in Germany contacted Amazon to request a copy of any data the company had collected on him—his right under the EU's General Data Protection Regulation, Gizmodo notes—he was surprised to receive 1,700 audio files in response. Why? Because he doesn't use Alexa,...

Amazon's Alexa Appears to Be Pulling a HAL 9000

People say digital personal assistant letting out 'creepy laugh' without prompting

(Newser) - Amazon is "aware" Alexa is laughing at you and is "working to fix it," the Verge reports. Hold on, what? Starting in February, owners of Alexa-enabled devices began reporting laughter coming from their digital personal assistants, occasionally without any sort of prompting whatsoever. "Lying in bed...

Coming Soon: Amazon's First Wearable

Smart glasses equipped with Alexa could be out this year: FT

(Newser) - Amazon has set to work on its first wearable device. With help from Google Glass founder Babak Parviz, whom Amazon hired in 2014, the company is developing smart glasses equipped with the Alexa voice assistant, reports the Financial Times . The glasses will reportedly look pretty normal, without a visible screen...

South Park Took Over America's Amazon Echos Last Night
South Park Causes Chaos With
Google Homes, Amazon Echos

South Park Causes Chaos With Google Homes, Amazon Echos

'Episode has set my Amazon Alexa off about 15 times so far. Had to unplug it'

(Newser) - The 21st season of South Park debuted Wednesday, and it seems technology has finally advanced enough to pull Cartman and company's foul-mouthed antics out of the TV and into America's living rooms. In Wednesday's episode, "White People Renovating Houses," characters repeatedly yelled commands at Amazon...

New Starbucks Gimmick: 'Alexa' Will Place Your Order

Customers can order at home, pick it up

(Newser) - Starbucks is trying to make it as easy as possible for its digital customers to drink up. The chain on Monday began testing My Starbucks barista, a platform that lets customers order by voice through their phones, pay remotely, then swing by a store to pick them up, reports the...

17 Stories