Your trustworthy (at least most of the time) friend and helper: Alexa

Imagine your neighbors calling the police on you. Complaints about the noises coming from your apartment. Apparently you threw a large house party and wouldn’t turn down the volume of the music. After having knocked on your door multiple times without getting a reply, they called the police. Nighttime disturbance. When the police arrived and broke down your door (in order to get inside your apartment, of course), things got weird. You weren’t at home. In fact, nobody was home.

Amazon’s Alexa started playing your favorite music at maximum volume without anyone activating her.

Great. Now you’re left with the bill for the police operation, and some serious trouble with your neighbors. Amazon’s promotion of an oh-so helpful Alexa obviously didn’t turn out too well for you.

What sounds like a made up story actually happened to one poor guy in America. Thankfully, Amazon footed the bill.

But the entire story shows once again that there is always something that could go wrong if you rely on technology too much.

Alexa is Amazon’s newest invention and is supposed to make your life at home a lot easier.

Getting up from the couch to switch off the lights or get the remote control? Not necessary anymore.

You don’t like the song your shuffle mode chose for you? No, problem, Alexa can play whatever song you want to listen to.

Not quite sure if you’ll need an umbrella today? Don’t worry, Alexa’s got you.

All that could be part of your newer, easier life with Alexa, making lounging around at home even more comfortable for the super lazy. That is if you pay an extra €7.99 for the Amazon prime streaming service and for the Amazon music package. Every month. And don’t forget about the €99 for the lovely device itself.

To be fair, this musical debacle won’t happen in every household and Amazon promised to improve the way Alexa reacts to certain noises, but still. You pay a lot of bucks each month to avoid having to move around your house. The idea of Alexa sounds tempting, but is it not just another technological toy for people who love testing new technology?

Is Alexa necessary? No. Not for everyone, but a friend of my father has recently lost 95% of his eyesight and for him Alexa really is a trustworthy helping hand. He is not physically able to tell what the weather is like or to go through different music titles. Alexa helps him not to feel too lost or completely unable to do things. You might think that my father’s friend lost his eyesight due to age, but in reality he just turned forty and there is no clear explanation for his tragic loss of one of the five senses.

Alexa might make your life easier, and if you can afford all the extra music, TV, and whatnot packages it could be a fun investment – but definitely not a necessary one.

Carlotta Westphal

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