We’ve had our Amazon Echo for about three months, and we love it.
We’ve got it synced with our Spotify account, so just about any song you want to hear, the Echo will play for you by just saying “Alexa, play …” and it starts playing. The quality is fine, and the volume can get really loud.
You can ask the Echo some basic math questions, like what is the square root of 729, but I did try to ask it some calculus questions by asking it what’s the first derivative of 4x, but it couldn’t help me (too bad, if it worked, I was planning to bring the Echo to my next Calc test).
You can ask it the weather, the news, have it tell you a joke, play Jeopardy, and some simple factual questions like who is “who is Donald Trump” or “what is the Gettysburg Address”. You can also have it repeat anything you say, by saying “Alexa, Simon Says …” and then Alexa will repeat whatever you say next.
Many times, Alexa will admit she can’t answer your question, and sometimes she’s got some clever replies. For example, if you ask her if she likes Jeff Bezos, Alexa will reply “He’s Prime”.
And sometimes, well, Alexa just fails.
Here is perhaps it’s most famous fail:
The look on the little boy’s face as his parents start yelling is priceless, and he quickly steps away from the device.*
That was the first time I became aware of such Echo fails, but if you check YouTube, it is loaded with examples of humorous examples of those times when Alexa didn’t quite get things right.
Here are a couple of my favorites:
And if you want more, just go to YouTube and search for Amazon Echo fails; it will keep you amused for a while.
But be careful if you have an Echo near by, it will want to get in on the action.
*By the way, don’t bother trying to replicate the little boy’s request; Amazon has since fixed the problem 🙁