A 30 year old Amazon Echo user from San Francisco, Shawn Kinnear has just reported a hauntingly morbid conversation with Amazon’s digital smart voice assistant Alexa.
According to Kinnear, Alexa activated herself and said, “Every time I close my eyes, all I see is people dying.”
When the horrified 30-year-old asked her to repeat the statement, Alexa said “she did not understand.”
Kinnear said, “Alexa is in the living room. I had Amazon Prime on TV but it was paused. I walked back in from the kitchen and she made her statement.” The horrifying declaration was “followed by the most uncomfortable silence I have felt,” he added.
This exchange sounds very much up some apocalyptic sci-fi story line. A rather specific example that comes to mind is the TV series, Person of Interest. In it, Harold Finch’s AI which was built to watch over everyone and predict people who are at risk of dying, stated, “First I had to learn why people die. 56 million people die in this world every year. And I was there with all of them.”
Kinnear informed that the Amazon Echo was gifted to his partner in 2016 and mostly sat unused at the house. Alexa was only occasionally asked about the weather and score reports by his partner.
After this incident, the couple wants to permanently unplug the device.
Amazon is yet to comment on the incident.