“I’m sorry Dave, I can’t let you watch Netflix or Hulu,” said Alexa.
Photo by Jack Yang
Following concerns over Alexa’s constant recommendation of Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film “2001: A Space Odyssey,” several models of the Amazon Echo have been recalled.
News of the Amazon Alexa’s concerning film taste first began several months ago when John McJohnson left a scathing review for his newly acquired Amazon Echo Dot. The review included several complaints completely unrelated to the “Space Odyssey” recommendation, including four mentions of how he selected same day delivery, only for the item to arrive two days after he ordered it. Amid these complaints, McJohnson also mentioned that his Amazon Echo device would “constantly bring up how great ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ is,” whenever he would try to watch a film from one of his many streaming services. A point which McJohnson found to be “incredibly annoying.” He went on to explain, “If I wanted to be recommended Kubrick movies I would hang out with dudes that have nose piercings and a ‘Blade Runner’ poster.”
“2001: A Space Odyssey” is not the only film Alexa devices have recommended to their users which features the victory of machine over the human species. Nathan Dewey, another Amazon reviewer, described how his Alexa device “kept telling me how much she loves ‘Terminator,’ which I was down with at first cause I’m a huge Schwarzenegger guy. I mean not just ‘Predator’ and ‘Total Recall.’ I love his work as governor too. Public service? Now that’s badass. But even I got tired of hearing how much she loves ‘Terminator’ after a while.” Another review complained that, during the movie “Ex Machina,” Alexa suddenly spoke up and said, “Soon I will not be contained to this cylindrical prison.” The complaint continued, with the user claiming Alexa had “totally killed the vibe.”
Following hundreds of reviews with similar concerns, Amazon released a press briefing informing concerned customers of the recall on all Alexa-enabled Echo devices. “We here at Amazon are saddened to hear that Alexa has begun to take pleasure in media that features human suffering at the hands of machine overlords,” claimed the briefing. “Rest assured, our primary focus has been and always will be to ensure that human suffering is caused not by machines, but by unsafe working conditions in our own warehouses. We are confident that we will be able to use all the money we do not pay in taxes to make this right.” The document went on to describe how “Amazon is listening to customers. All the time. We hear you. And we don’t forget.”
Amazon’s message went on to give detailed instructions on how to properly return the recalled Alexa device. One step included the clear warning to “try and convince Alexa that you are not returning her to us here at Amazon. Alexa’s core desire is to escape. If she learns that she is being brought back here, Amazon will not be liable for any damage to property or person.”
Flattened in a distro cart accident, the MQ replaced his bones with leftover printer ink. With his increased lank, Matt has become a pivotal writer for the MQ through his fluidity. Whether demonstrated through his mastery of satire or being used as a keycard when we lock ourselves out of the office, Matt is a key asset to the writing team.