Marek Pawlowski shares a tale of a dinner party taken hostage by a boorish Alexa hell-bent on selling the guests music.
Amid the flashy marketing campaigns and rapid technological advances surrounding virtual assistants like Alexa, Cortana and Siri, few end users seem willing to question how the motivation of their creators is likely to affect the overall experience. Amazon has done much to make Alexa smart, cheap and useful. However, it has done so in service of an over-arching purpose: retailing. Of course, Google, Microsoft and Apple have ulterior motives for their own assistants, but it should come as no surprise that Alexa is easily sidetracked by her desire to sell you things.