Alexa in a headAlexa stop thinking! You are really getting too big for your britches. The nightmare of “the thinking” Ms. A began last week.

Note: I will use this abbreviation for her as I generally check my blogs by having Microsoft Word read them back to me, and I don’t need her going berserk while I’m in the throes of writing perfection.


For several years now, we have had a smart plug for the air purifier in our bedroom. The clean air plus the white noise works perfectly. I turn it on at night, and off in the morning. Because of my husband’s disability, giving voice commands makes it easier for him to control the unit.

While snoozing away, the abrupt stop of the purifier woke me at 1 a.m.  Now, this has happened sporadically before, and I have crawled under the bookshelf to unplug and re-plug the smart plug because turning it on via speaking to Ms. A did not work. Soon I figured out that I could restart it by turning the plug off and back on by using the Ms. A mobile app. So, I stumbled into the kitchen, fumbled around for some reading glasses, and turned it back on. It happened again an hour later! I repeated the phone routine. The third time it happened, I just gave up and suffered until daylight.

The next morning, I was in for a rude awakening.  Ms. A informed me that she believed all the people in the house were asleep and the smart plug had been accidentally left on. I told her on the app—twice—that it was on intentionally.

AND son of a b—h, it happened again the next night. The first time I stumbled back into the kitchen to restart it. The second two times, I got wise, and told her to restart via voice commands, and she did.

The next night she behaved, apparently having learned her lesson. She’s lucky because I was just about ready to jerk off her cord and throw her against the wall.


Turns out that in 2021, Amazon rolled out what they called “hunches” (I.e.: everyone is asleep) and take action. Supposedly hunches can be enabled or disabled somewhere in the app. Hmm. I’ll have to hunt for the on-off switch. Who Knew?

Now, Ms. A is moving into conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) full tilt boogie. According to her website:

“Conversational AI signals a huge advancement in the way we interact with computers. Unlike menus, touchscreens, or mouse clicks, using our voices to have conversations is one of the most natural ways to use a computer; it requires no learning curve.

This new method of human-computer interaction makes powerful computer applications even easier to use and accessible to more people. For example, instead of having to make several swipes and clicks to play music, you can simply say, “Alexa, play the top songs in Seattle.”

Conversational AI systems are computers that people can interact with simply by having a conversation. With conversational AI, voice-enabled devices like Amazon Echo are enabling the sort of magical interactions we’ve dreamed of for decades. Through a voice user interface (VUI), voice services like Alexa can communicate with people in ways that feel effortless, solve problems, and get smarter over time.”


What does this portend for the future?

Pretty soon we’ll be having conversations with her, and she’ll begin to ask us questions so she can give a more personalized response. Really?

I love her mundane abilities: turning on and off lights, locking the door, making my shopping list, and acting as a timer. But being a friend? Having conversations? I’m not sure about this.

I wonder when the machine will come with soft fur and a male voice so we can cuddle together.


LOL! While Word was reading “Alexa, play the top songs in Seattle”, Ms. A started playing the songs!


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