April 17, 2018

Alexa, Remind me to Worry about Alexa

Amazon Alexa

Doorbell rings. You answer. Amazon delivery. With a package. And inside? A box of detergent.

You wonder, aloud, “I don’t remember ordering detergent from Amazon….”

Behind you, Amazon Alexa glows, answering “I ordered it. You were running low.”

According to an article in AdWeek, “Experts say connected devices, pervasive broadband, and ample data will allow brands to predict what [consumers need.]”

We’re already seeing devices tailored to do for us even when we don’t directly ask. Check out your Starbucks app filling your pay wallet when credit’s low. Or watch as Google sends you notifications on when to leave for the airport — because it put the flight on your calendar, it has your current location, AND it knows the traffic conditions between you and your terminal.

So — is THIS terminal? Are we going to become brain mush in not having to retain anything?  Will WE be automatons that let our inter-connections do the thinking, prodding, ordering for us?

Consumers love convenience. And as voice starts taking over, brands will use more AI to keep consumers loyal and happy. But hopefully not brainless.  Opt-ing in for shoe sale emails is one thing. But opting in to ordering almost anything when our machines think they should? Hmmmm.

Oh — and on the auto-order detergent?  April Fool’s from Alexa! She didn’t really order it.

You remember that the one in charge who orders your detergent via Amazon when you’re running low is youuuuur Whirlpool smart washer.

Hello smart wine fridge?