Smart speakers are becoming increasingly popular in homes around the world, but with unexpected side effects – and for people named Alexa, the existence of Amazon’s popular voice assistant has become a new phenomenon.
A new report from BBC Details of how parents of children named Alexa are challenging Amazon to change or remove Alexa as a wiki for their devices. Children allegedly called Alexa are being bullied for sharing names with other children (and, in some cases, teachers) with Amazon Alexa Voice Assistant because they are smart assistants.
But should Amazon rename Alex – and at what point is that possible?
What’s in a name?
To be clear, bullying is bad. Anyone who has experienced it in childhood knows how strange it can be for children whose names have acquired a strangely specific technical context over the years. It may be easy for some to deny, but if a child has to legally change their name to avoid being screened, it is clear that there is a problem.
And that’s not a problem around Amazon’s Smart Assistant. We’ve also noticed earlier that feminine voice AI devices in general and their names can Maintaining a sexist stereotype He says women are only bodyguards.
A UNESCO report found alarming that AI assistants respond to broken orders such as ‘Hey’ or ‘OK’, and there is no agency to respond. Careful speakers must obey the commands they receive. ” [the user’s] Accent or hostility. “
Other keywords for Alexa include Echo, Computer, or Amazon, and it would be perfectly possible for one of these gender-neutral, unethical alternatives to be central, but we don’t expect that Will be. This solution is likely to cause problems Amazon Echo And Fire TV Users who are accustomed to using the name Alex when using their devices.
Given Alexa’s prominent features on Amazon’s e-marketing and store pages, it has become synonymous with the device. If the name is not highlighted correctly, the name change has the potential to confuse and confuse many users and is effectively useless if you can’t easily activate your smart speaker.
In addition, the company may struggle to find alternative names. Similar problems arise with any human name, and even unusual things like Siri (abbreviated to Sigrid, which is common in countries like Norway and Sweden) make people the center of humor.
Amazon’s echo with another name
This does not mean that molding is not solvable.
Amazon could pull out a page from Microsoft’s book (which was named after its AI assistant Cortana after AI in the Hello game series) and name one of its many media features an imaginary character. We want to develop something like ‘Money Penny’ or ‘Q’ after the recent acquisition of Amazon’s company behind the James Bond movies.
The question is not possible, because the name is already used Gender Neutral Smart Assistant. But Amazon can choose to adopt it, solving both problems at the same time.
Another solution might be to force users to choose a name for their Amazon Echo during setup. If each device uses a unique manicure, then it is unlikely to cause the same level of targeting bullying, and even increase user engagement for Amazon. This will allow users to soften their creativity and personalize their smart speakers.
For an eco-device already in the wild, an update may be implemented that prompts users to rename the device before using it.
There are many other options that Amazon can use to solve this problem, and it seems like it’s time to find a new name for Alexa. We’ll have to wait and see what Amazon does next, but if Alexa’s name changes, we’ll make sure you know.