June 28, 2019
June 28, 2019 2:52 PM EDT
Normally Amazon’s virtual home assistant, Alexa, is on her best behaviour but one British man says she calls him ‘s—head’ after he cancelled his Amazon Prime subscription.
Michael Slade from Cwmbran, South Wales, was surprised to hear his virtual assistant switched to name-calling when he asked it to play music.
Its reply would be: “Sure, here’s your playlist s—head on Amazon music. Sorry something went wrong,” reported The Mirror newspaper.
Amazon weaves its Alexa digital assistant into more services and devices as it unveiled new products powered by artificial intelligence including a smart microwave and dash-mounted car gadget. GRANT HINDSLEY/AFP/Getty Images)
The 29-year-old believes ending his subscription to Amazon Prime might have something to do with the sudden attitude change in his Echo Dot device’s assistant.
“I tried to cancel my subscription and had a short conversation with someone in customer services and the next day my Alexa is calling me names,” Slade told U.K.’s The Sun newspaper.
Is this a coincidence or is the foul-mouthed Alexa just going through a tough time?
Slade says he’s called technical support about the bizarre incident but even they’re surprised of Alexa’s hostile behaviour.
“The technical team couldn’t believe it. They kept saying sorry but they didn’t know what had happened,” he told The Mirror.
After speaking to Amazon they gave him £5 ($ to compensate for the mishap.
But Slade told The Sun he was unimpressed with the offer.
“I was a bit annoyed at the gift card they sent me – five pounds is hardly enough for being called a s—head.”
According to the tech giant, Alexa has personalizable features including naming playlists.
“Alexa would not respond in this way without some customization from the user,” an Amazon spokesperson told The Sun.
But Slade insists neither he nor others living with him have told the device to say swear words.
After The Sun contacted Amazon, the company offered him over £255 ($300) in gift cards and a one-year subscription to Amazon Prime.
They’ve asked Slade for his Alexa account logs to investigate the possible malfunction in the device.
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