Amazon was probably hoping its 3:55 YouTube video demonstrating its new Echo speaker would go viral, but not like this. A slew of hilarious parodies have turned the Siri and Google Now-like audio assistant into — as Tech Times noted — a foul-mouthed, angry woman named Alexa.
Amazon Echo is a tall, cylinder-shaped speaker that can be situated anywhere in the home, and functions as a Bluetooth speaker/always-on digital assistant. Much like with Siri and Google Now, you can ask it anything – from “what’s the weather?” to “how many inches are in a foot?” or even to add items to your shopping list. Because it’s always on, you don’t need to click a button to activate it – just call it by name (in the video’s case, Alexa), then ask away. And it constantly gets smarter, pulling information from the cloud to answer your every question.
The video shows what appears to be the perfect American family using Echo to play music, convert measurements, help the kids with homework, wake dad up in the morning for work, and even dictate the morning news. The most popular parody version by YouTube user Barry Mannifold however, has managed to snag more views than Amazon’s real version, clocking in at nearly 3 million (warning: some NSFW language):
In his humorous take, rather than tell mom there are three teaspoons in a tablespoon, Alexa questions how a woman of her age doesn’t know this, calling her an “insufferable imbecile” and advising she “look it up.” When mom asks what day it is so she can help coax dad out of bed for work, instead of advising that it’s Thursday, November 13, Alexa says it’s the day that “Ron gets off his ass and makes something of his life.” “How tall is Mount Everest?” dad later asks (presumably while contemplating ways to make something of his life.) Answering in typical teenage vernacular, Alexa replies that she’s heard it’s, like, the tallest mountain or something, and some guy died there once. Almost as funny as the responses from Alexa are the unknowing smiles and nods of affirmation from the actors who are none the wiser that their skills are being used to poke fun at the very product they’re meant to promote.
While it’s funny on a viral level, the parody does shed light on the sheer silliness of having a circular box sitting in your home, listening to your every conversation for its trigger word, constantly updating with data from the cloud, and becoming essentially the family’s digital encyclopedia. What happens when Echo shuts down? Will the kids ever learn how to spell “cantaloupe?”
Check out Amazon’s original video below: