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Alexa and Manners.

dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
edited 12. Jan 2019, 02:26 in Community Chit-chat archive
I daresay that some of you on here either have - or know someone who has - one of the domestic digital spies that we are being told are essential to modern living. I haven't succumbed yet because I remain capable of writing a shopping list and adding things to it, turning lights on and off, selecting a TV channel, playing the music I want to hear, blah blah blah. I was reading an article in the press about the meteoric rise of these things (and how it all went wrong on Christmas Day as Mr Bezos' empire failed to obey the demands of all the new spies being switched on) and an interesting point was raised.

We are building a generation who will be used to barking orders at a machine that reacts without a please or a thank you. How long before orders are being barked at each other without the common courtesies? This led me to think about why common courtesies have not been built into electronic wizardry, surely it isn't that hard to ensure an Alexa or similar won't respond until please is uttered, and for it to make an irritating noise that cannot be shut off until thank you is heard.

People are leading increasingly self-contained and self-centred lives, the gadgetry, which was designed to unite us, separates us. I have seen on more than one occasion a family out for a meal, all on their phones and only talking to someone else (the waiter) to order their food. How long will it be before one of them barks 'Alexa! Get me a tiramisu!' because they have forgotten they are not at home? DD
Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben


  • Airwave!Airwave! Posts: 2,427 ✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Ahhhhh you must be talking about the spoons app, you can order on it and pay so you don't have to queue at the bar or talk to anyone.

    An Alexa dot turned up in our stocking at the mo I and this thing are sitting opposite and ignoring each other!
  • bubblesbubbles Posts: 6,508
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi DD - I do agree that technology, whilst advancing exponentially in our lifetime, has created a nation of "heads down" looking at phones.

    Given my spondylosis, I can only interact with my phone if it on the same level, I don't do down, up, or sideways :lol::lol: They are conversation killers without a doubt.

    Alexa, well, we had one of the first I think, it came over from the US and was living in Seattle time, it knew nothing of the UK :lol::lol:
    We were amazed by its "knowledge" and over time, it has now taken our nation by storm, on a par with Google Home.

    We won't pay £40 for a light bulb that communicates with it, or a thermostat that costs a small fortune. I always ask a question, that demands a polite response and usually she will say, thank you for asking me so nicely 8) 8) :lol:

    Most of the time she sits on the sideboard, occasionally answering the tv, thinking she has heard her name. You do get some very odd responses :shock: :shock:

    Not sure if they are actually spying on us, pretty boring for it, if it is :lol:

    I did read that Amazon Alexa did crash on Christmas Day, as squillions of people tried to connect their new device to the web. I am going to ask her for a Tiramisu and see what she says :) xx

    A Spoons app Airwave, is that like Weatherspoons, to pre order your drinks........... :o
    Have a go at would you rather, that is quite amusing. Good for listening to the radio too, that is all free.

    XX Aidan
    XX Aidan (still known as Bubbles).
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 26,000 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Like you, DD, I have found no need for Alexa and rather feel I never will. I have nothing against it (IT, not SHE :roll: ) as such but, at this point in time, can't see a need for it.

    But I quite agree re its encouraging bad manners. I don't care if I sound old, I think 'please' and 'thank-you' are valuable oils to us all rubbing along smoothly together. Alas, speed seems to be of the essence and these two little words could slow down a process infinitesimally so I can't see them making a comeback. Which is a shame because the lack of please and thank-you has already drifted into non-techie life.

    I recall, when my grandson was about six, he got hold of his Dad's phone and said, from now on, he was Batman not R. Unfortunately, my son used the phone for his work and, next day, all his emails to clients were signed 'Batman' :lol:
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • kathleenTkathleenT Posts: 3,183 ✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    If anyone ever got me one (perish the the thought) My first and last command would be "Aexa, get lost. PLEASE"

    “I've got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen.”
    Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you for your reponses, everyone, they have provoked further thoughts, hard luck!

    I think these things can have a role to play for those who are, for example, physically unable to turn their lights on and off so won't have to wait for a carer to come in; I am sure there are other roles for it too but for the able-bodied and supposedly able-minded? Humans have long had a love affair with gadgets and machinery, it's why things are invented but now we seem to be at the stage of doing things just because it is possible. I wonder what would happen with a severe and prolonged power outage? We regularly have power cuts in the town centre and shops are paralysed, they cannot scan goods, cannot accept even cash payments. Ridiculous. The pen is indeed mightier and far more reliable than a keyboard, cash never crashes, tills do not refuse a twenty pound note. Yup, I'm an old person! :lol: My views are catching up with my disease . . . . :wink: DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • bubblesbubbles Posts: 6,508
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh Kath, you would love it, you could recite poetry together :D:D:D

    I do call her She, force of habit I think SW. It is a talking search engine after all, not a sentient being.

    I love gadgets and I must admit to asking for specific answers to a question that eludes me, (quite often) :roll: :roll: then Alexa is very useful.

    Manners, yes, I quite agree, they have pretty much gone West, which is a great shame.

    I bet your Son was not best pleased when all his emails were signed Batman :shock: :shock:

    Oh, power cuts DD, they do cause issues - usually if we are mid shop, all the tills are down and no one can move, pay, or function, until power is restored. Every shop needs an Arkwrights Till, that snaps up money, like a veritable monster.

    I agree that things are done, simply because they can be. Be it automation, google car, send to car, uber, smart home, ordering food on an app and it arrives at your door, cooked, for a price, hives (in my mind, they are the itches, not thermostats). XX
    XX Aidan (still known as Bubbles).
  • Airwave!Airwave! Posts: 2,427 ✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I do enjoy interacting with people, the person behind the bar, the bank, shop assistants, petrol station and whoever I come into contact with. Self serve is just a way of reducing staff costs.

    I only want to use technology to enhance my day not to make it a lesser place to be.
  • frogmortonfrogmorton Posts: 26,336 ✭✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    One appeared in my Christmas stocking too from my eldest daughter! :shock:

    Before I could stop her she had set it up connected it to my wifi and that was it!

    So far I have been able to play all the music I like, played my audio book and checked the weather where I was about to holiday.

    The alexa part of the echo-dot didn't crash for me on Christmas day probably because she was only playing Christmas songs. Nothing challenging.

    Of course I say please whenever I ask for anything. There doesn't seem to be a problem with continuing to be well-mannered at all.

    I'm still scared a little though of what her descendants might do to us..... :?

    Toni xxx
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