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Bezos v Trump spills over onto Amazon Echo

By Chris Dawson December 14, 2015 - 10:41 am

Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO is continuing his spat with Donald Trump, but this time may have gone to far. It’s one thing to have a public twitter spat, it’s another to inflict your personal animosity on your customers.

Bezos and Trump started exchanging insults on Twitter, but Bezos has now arranged for Amazon Echo (the product designed to provide information, answer questions, play music, read the news, check sports scores or the weather, as well as of course your Amazon shopping list) to join in the spat.

Use Echo’s voice recognition to tell it “Alexa, send Donald Trump to space” and it will respond with “I think Jeff Bezos reserved him a seat on his Blue Origin rocket”.

Whilst you might vehemently disagree with Trumps suggestion that the US close their borders to Muslims and a lot of his other policies, others may have some sympathies towards his rhetoric. Either way, is a device sold by a company primarily to flog their products, but touted as a useful, fun device to have in your home the place for the CEO of the manufacturer to start spouting his political disagreements, regardless of whether you agree or disagree with his point of view?

Thankfully the Echo is only available in the US, so we Brits don’t have to get involved, but where does it stop~ When is it OK for a CEO to use and abuse the platform he’s created and when should they button their mouth and get on with their main purpose, which is to sell products to consumers regardless of his and their political persuasions?

  • james
    2 years ago

    thats a very specific combination of words, so specific i dont think that anyone would ever request “Alexa” (i assume this is amazon’s Siri?) do such a thing as “send Donald Trump (specifically) to space”.
    – were some lunatic to make that request of Alexa, i dont think they’d expect much more positive result than Alexa having a pre-assigned response.
    the chances of Alexa actually facilitating such a request for said lunatic are nil.
    (unless that lunatic was in fact Donald Trump himself, who may well request in the third person to be sent to space. but he’d ask Siri instead. no wait, Siri sounds just a little bit ethnic dont it? he’ll stick to cortana)

    on the other hand, now millions of people shall make the request simply because of this.

    millions of people (me included) who wouldnt know or care about amazon echo, now at least know (though continue not to care) about it.

    the ~3kb of memory this may use would probably have remained empty otherwise.

    Donald trumps fanclub need not request Alexa send him to space, should they not wish to do so.

    really, i cant see how this could possibly have a detrimental effect on anyone.

    – i think the time “they button their mouth and get on with their main purpose, which is to sell products to consumers regardless of his and their political persuasions….” is sometime before you end up with Donald Trump running for Presidency.

  • Mark H
    2 years ago

    What happens if you say “send [[any name/thing]] to space”?

    • james
      2 years ago

      “I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that”

  • 2 years ago

    Very good James :)

    Is Bezos so personally rankled or is he exploiting an opportunity for publicity. Its familiar like stunts of Michael O’Leary of Ryanair, eg threatening to add payslots to cabin toilets, just another way of generating publicity.

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