Amazon Echo - Siri thing from Amazon because their phone bombed


#362

I did look at picking up the Plus and the reviews did say that the home automation hub part was an afterthought and not as good as other solutions.


#363
  • New name: Echo Dot Kids Edition (blue, green, red)
  • Launches May 9, cost is $80
  • Bundled with case, 2-year guarantee, 1-year FreeTime Unlimited subscription
  • Parental controls including use time limits, skill disabling, song blocking, shopping blocking
  • New “Activity Review” function
  • New “Magic Word” function (optionally require that your kid say “Please” first)

#364

Alexa doesn’t do that well with kids. My nephews ask questions in… weird kiddish ways so she gets confused.

Like somehow What is the biggest largest most huge animal on the planet throws her off. heh.


#365

My nephews love Alexa. I got them an inventions coloring book, that tells the kids to draw their own inventions, and over half of their drawings had Alexa in there somewhere. For some reason they believe she has green hair.


#366

Oh they love using her, I just think it’s amusing how they ask questions and how she can sometimes not understand it.


#367

Oh. Sure, I can’t understand them myself half the time.


#368

My nephews love it, but their little sister who is just learning to talk gets frustrated because she’s still learning to talk.


#369

Alexa does a decent job trying to parse what you’re asking. You can say “Alexa, what’s the fastest I mean tallest building in the world?” and she’ll get it right. Siri fails that one (predictably).


#370

Oh I think she does a good job, but even your example, that’s not how my young nephews speak. It’s missing three adjectives, and they’re not going to say I mean.

I find it amusing, not really a shortcoming.


#371

Amazon has confirmed the incident happened. Not good, Amazon. Not good.


#372

In for the inevitable class action suit.


#373

The thing that most will miss is the engineers were able to go through the entire log of the incident w/out having to ask the owners to forward. This means everything you say is recorded and saved.

What are they doing with all this? Why do they need to store anything you say for more than 10 minutes?


#374

No, everything you say after the wake word until that command is finished is recorded and saved. My guess is what happened here is the Echo thought the user said “Alexa send a message to Billy” or “Alexa drop-in on Billy”.


#375

I wonder if they dropped to the brief version of Alexa too. Right now Alexa basically talks to me, every time i ask her something. She said she could basically be briefer, and only beep or something to indicate she listened… which would be easier to miss if you weren’t listening to her.

Aka, they initiated a call and not only didn’t realize it but didn’t hear her typical responses that indicated she complied.


#376

Yes, that’s possible. Obviously something went wrong, as the story said Amazon’s engineers apologized like 15 times.


#377

corrected.


#378

Your correction is functionally identical to my original post.


#379

#380

I mean, that all does sound pretty unlikely. But the fact that Alexa can interpret background conversation as a confirmation is a big problem.

I don’t know how they would even fix this. During my game nights, it’s not unusual, especially early on, for someone to ask Alexa to play some sort of playlist while we get started. It’s never quiet. She usually picks up on the person talking to her but yeah sometimes she gets the background conversations. Siri is even worse at this. My stupid work phone is always picking up on the word serious.


#381

Alexa messes up all the time, yeah. They need to improve on that, Google is SO much better, and they need positive confirmation before sending audio to another user.