Indians seem to have made a personal connection with Amazon's voice assistant - Alexa. After Amazon customised the smart speaker to communicate with Indian customers in Hindi, we Desis have fallen in love with it, quite literally.
According to a Times of India report, an Indian says "I love you" to Alexa every minute. Every two minutes, someone proposes marriage to it. People are concerned about Alexa's well-being also as somebody asks "How are you" or " Kaisi ho" 11 times per minute to "her".
When Indians are not flirting with Alexa, they ask her to play 'Hanuman Chalisa' or 'Baby Shark'. People have commanded Alexa to play Hanuman Chalisa more than four times every minute. Baby Shark was played three times per minute.
According to statistics compiled for 2019, Alexa played over 1,000 songs every minute or over 25 years' worth of music every day.
Indians interact with Alexa more than 10 million times each week, much higher than users in the US or UK. Puneesh Kumar, country manager for Alexa experience and devices, said that India was among the top five global users of the service, with the US leading the pack.
Google's 'Year in Search: Insights for Brands Report' has found that India has seen 270 percent growth year-on-year in voice searches. In addition to interaction with smart speakers, Google's voice assistant gets a barrage of proposals as well.
These remarks are not surprising as a United Nations report had said that feminised digital assistants "reinforce gender biases". Calling for companies to make gender-neutral voice assistants, the UN had said that female voice sends signals that "women are obliging, docile and eager-to-please helpers".