Alexa Anyone

Amazon’s runaway success with Alexa and the Echo devices “she” lives in is quite obvious. As someone who owned an original Echo back when you needed an invite to buy it, I can remember the awe in how good the voice recognition was. The time it took to understand a question, send it to the cloud, then return a response was a big win. It seems now that Amazon allows anyone to provide information to questions Alexa may not know. Jack Morse at Mashable has the story.

Way back in 2019, Amazon announced that, going forward, any old idiot off the street could provide answers for its voice assistant Alexa to read aloud in response to questions from Alexa users. It turns out that many people played along, though perhaps not in the way Amazon intended. Instead of providing useful answers to hard-to-parse questions, a dedicated number of Alexa Answers pranksters have spent untold hours flooding the service with obvious trash.


Given how the internet behaves, it is a bit of a head-scratcher that nobody at Amazon saw this coming. It seems like Amazon left the barn door open, hoping nobody would notice.

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