A new toy turned up on my doorstep yesterday in the shape of one of those Amazon Dot gizmo. It came free with my subscription to The Telegraph which I took out over a month ago and I’d almost forgotten about it.
For the uninitiated, the Dot is the little brother (or sister) of the larger Amazon Echo and does all sorts of things from giving weather forecasts, answering trivia questions, playing music and reading audio books to controlling your lights and central heating.
And that’s where Alexa comes in. She is the voice of the Dot and the name with which you preface every question or command to prompt her into action.
I had lots of fun testing it out by getting Alexa to tell me jokes or what was on tv next, playing Radio Five, reading from my Audible books, firing random facts at me, reading the news and sports headlines and looking up people like Ignaz Trebitsch-Lincoln and Walter Tull, both of whom she briefly described with no discernible delay.
She really came into her own during Pointless. One of the subjects was songs with ‘wish’ or ‘wishing’ in the title and the contestants had to provide the artist. It was one of the hardest boards I’ve seen and none of the three pairs could get a correct answer. But when I asked Alexa to play I wish I was James Bond she correctly told me that the artist was Scouting for Girls.
And then in the final, they were asked to name anyone credited by IMDB as appearing in Some Like It Hot and Alexa unerringly provided the entire cast list. Very impressive.
I said to Mrs P that were I ever to appear on Pointless then it would be with Alexa as my partner!