Update: In a statement from Amazon, a spokesperson provided the following explanation:
"This was a technical glitch which we have fixed. Alexa’s response to this question is, 'Are you connected to the CIA? No, I work for Amazon.'"
This piece was originally published on March 9, 2017.
Amazon Alexa, the voice-activated assistant available through Amazon's Echo and Echo Dot, has had her fair share of bizarre, often hilarious, moments.
But the latest publicized Alexa scenario is nothing short of creepy. In a video posted by The Daily Dot, a user questions Alexa whether she is connected to the CIA.
The question is a fair one, given the recent WikiLeaks release that exposed CIA documents suggesting that the agency had the ability to "breach almost anything connected to the internet," The New York Times reported. This includes everything from phones to AI-controlled systems.
So, what does Alexa have to say for herself? Not much. When the woman asked Alexa, "Alexa, are you connected to the CIA?", Alexa offered no reply. Curious to see if this was a one-off occurrence, I greeted my Alexa with the same question posed by the other user. I was met with silence, too.
While this is an instance of Alexa acting a little bit odd, further investigation into the WikiLeaks release has shown that many of the supposed security flaws mentioned are outdated and nonexistent in current models of products. Apple and Google have both released statements reassuring users of their protection.