It’s been nearly a month since Alexa pretended to lose her voice for Amazon’s big Super Bowl ad, but now, it would appear that life is imitating art (or that art was extremely clairvoyant). Alexa has quite literally lost her voice, with numerous users complaining that their smart assistant was being unusually unresponsive.
We had better luck when we tried the device out this morning in our Portland, Oregon, office, but the reports are nevertheless widespread.
Although Amazon itself does not have a status page for Alexa, the ever useful Down Detector suggests that users began facing problems with Echo speakers and other Alexa-enabled devices around 9:30 a.m. ET on March 2. And these problems haven’t been localized to any one particular area — it would appear that folks across the U.S. are unable to chat with Alexa.
Attempting to interact with Alexa since the problem arose this morning has resulted in responses like, “I’m not sure what went wrong,” or “Sorry, something went wrong,” or a chiming sound and the message, “Sorry, your Echo Dot lost its connection.” A number of users have reported seeing a rather alarming red ring in place of the normal friendly blue color, which seems quite damning in and of itself.
One Twitter user astutely noted, “Alexa services are down. Shocking that an all-knowing all-hearing bodiless voice connected by invisible wires to millions of people is having issues. Skynet will soon be back online and destroying us all! Also, I can’t turn my lights on w/ my voice and I’m sad.”
As TechCrunch reported, the issue seems to be related to Alexa’s voice recognition servers, as both native Alexa devices (like the Echo) and third-party devices (like the Sonos One) are having issues. That said, some Twitter users have reported success when using Alexa services through the app. That means that while you can’t talk to the voice assistant, she can still receive commands through your smartphone.
While Amazon itself has yet to issue an official statement, a particularly responsible Twitter user took matters into his own hands, and reported that he spoke with Amazon’s support team early this afternoon regarding the outage. As Newsweek reported, “The [Amazon] team member confirmed it was a known issue, which should be resolved within the next two hours.”