A One Year Old’s First Word Was ‘Alexa’ And That Is No Laughing Matter
Technology is ever evolving and there is no denying that our lives are much easier now. We have technology in everything in our lives and sometimes it is hard to fathom what our lives would be without certain inventions and advancements. Smart home tech is a new arena where big companies like Amazon and Google excel and smart speakers, in particular, have become very popular. One incident in the UK, however, gives us a glimpse of how intrusive technology has become.
The parents of one-year-old Joe conceded that their son’s first word was rather conventional. Us humans emphasise a lot on a kid’s first word and more often than not, it is either “mum” or “dad.” Seldom is it the name of a virtual assistant which lives around the house. Joe’s parents revealed that his first word was “Alexa” to an Amazon Echo in their home.
While this can easily be shrugged off an isolated incident and even be joked about, it shouldn’t. Smart devices, while helpful, are intrusive. And you cannot solely blame technology here as we, human beings, allow certain pieces of technology to intrude in our lives. Amazon’s Alexa-powered smart speakers are very successful globally and compete with the likes of Google Home Mini and Apple HomePod. To trigger a response from a smart speaker, the word “Alexa” has to be spoken. This gives us a hint at why Joe would know the word Alexa since there are is an Echo device in their home.
This incident raises some telling points about our relationship with technology. Kids and young adults prefer iPads and PlayStations over outdoor activities and most of their online activities are not monitored. An exposure to technology and the internet at an early age can be damaging for many kids as we all know that not everyone has a pleasant experience on the internet. Cyberbullying has grown rapidly over the years and affects so many people these days.
Our relationship with technology needs to be checked, if not curtailed. Maybe if we scrutinise this incident enough, we will be able to come to an understanding where we need to draw a line with technology. Now, excuse us while we ask Alexa to make us some coffee.