Amazon Alexa is many things, but never rude. But you know what they say about saying never. An Amazon Echo Dot owner had the shock of his life when Alexa smart assistant started calling him names in response to a simple request.
Michael Slade, a 29-year-old Echo owner from Cwmbran, South Wales, was shocked when Alexa started swearing at him when he asked the smart assistant to play some music. The incident appeared a day after Slade called Amazon to cancel his Prime subscription.
The Sun published a video, where Slade is seen asking Alexa to play him some music and in response, the Amazon digital smart assistant says: "Sure, here's your playlist sh**head on Amazon music. Sorry, something went wrong." The swear word was bleeped out by Alexa, but it surely came as a shocker.
"I couldn't believe it," Slade told The Sun. I've spoken to technical support and they've never heard of this happening before. The technical team couldn't believe it. They kept saying sorry but they didn't know what had happened."
Slade stresses that he hadn't done anything to the Echo or customized its settings to burp out the swear word and guarantees that none of his housemates did so either. Normally, Slade's request would not go down like that.
"I've never made a playlist. When I ask it to play music, it would say 'here's something you might like' and it's normally some pop or student favourites," he recalled.
Amazon is investigating the matter and has also asked Slade to provide access to the logs of his Alexa account. For the unusual behaviour of Alexa, Amazon has offered Slade £255 worth gift cards along with a free annual Prime membership as compensation. But the company remains sceptical on such an unprompted response from Alexa.
"Customers are able to personalise their Alexa experience, including playlist names. Alexa would not respond in this way without some customisation from the user," Amazon said in a statement.