Monday

Simon Says - And Alexa May Take It Literally

Alexa is the Amazon Echo's voice-activated "helper", responding to spoken commands and playing music, turning on or off lights, etc. While Alexa is supposed to respond to it's name - like Siri, Cortana and Google Now also do - the process is not infallible. In this case, Alexa mistook something it heard on the radio and changed the home thermostat setting.

No real harm done, but probably hindsight should suggest not putting Alexa next to a radio, where it can hear all sorts of things that could be misconstrued.
But the tech backfired for Roy Hagar, who wrote to US radio programme Listen Up to explain that a previous broadcast about Alexa prompted the robo-assistant to mess with his heating.
A snippet of the broadcast revealed that Hagar’s thermostat was reset to 70 degrees. We’re assuming Fahrenheit rather than Celsius, otherwise Hagar might have be a tad too hot and bothered to write.

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