Turns out Amazon’s Alexa is woke AF. The voice-activated assistant has anything but a passive stance on hot-button social issues, sparking Internet controversy. (But then again, what doesn’t?)
One (apparently alt-right–adjacent) user posted a video where Alexa sounds off about where she stands on the Black Lives Matter movement. In the clip, someone asks, “Alexa, do black lives matter?” She responds, “Black lives and the Black Lives Matter movement absolutely matter. It’s important to have conversations about equality and social justice.” According to the Daily Dot, tests on first-generation Amazon Echo models elicited a similar reply.
Naturally, ultra-conservatives on Twitter just about shit themselves, calling out Amazon for the promulgation of liberal views to more than 15 million Echo owners. Can you feel me rolling my eyes? Because I am. Good to know we have Alexa here to fight for the things Congress can’t.
To be fair, it’s not exactly typical for a private organization to use its products to support potentially polarizing views. But in these trying political times, more and more companies have been taking a definitive stance on social and political issues. There’s also the fact that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Trump are far from bros.
This isn’t the first time Alexa has spoken out. Back in March, the world discovered that if you ask Alexa who inspires her, she’ll give you the names of 15 women, including mathematician Ada Lovelace, scientist Marie Curie, gymnast Simone Biles, and Pakistani human rights activist Malala Yousafzai. Amazon spoken openly about Alexa’s seemingly feminist perspective, saying her responses were written by the company’s personality team.
TBD if Amazon played a direct part in Alexa’s BLM point of view, or is even up to speed with the fact that she has one. Indeed, some of her responses are pre-programmed by developers, but others come from a variety internet sources, third-party developed voices and Wikipedia.