Computers are great when they listen to us and do our bidding, but when they start to take the initiative and do things for themselves? Perhaps it’s a sign that they are getting too close to becoming sentient and that I’ve maybe watched far too many sci-fi movies.
Amazon is bringing some of that proactive technology to its Alexa products, as the company plans to release a new feature which will enable the technology to proactively complete tasks around the house. This could be anything from turning off the lights fulfilling requests it has already gathered from you and your family. Yes, it probably knows more about you and your household than you do:
That could be a lot of power to give over to Alexa if you’re living in a home filled with smart devices. According to a support article, users can configure what type of “hunches” Alexa can complete on its own and what you would like to retain full control over. It’s not just about switching off devices though, as the service could also allow Alexa to alert you if it picks up strange noises and can even call emergency services if it deems it to be necessary. Emergencies that may have been avoided if it hadn’t switched off the lights and led you to fall down the stairs in the first place. But hey, at least it’s helping.
Along with this new update, Amazon is also rolling out an energy dashboard to the Alexa app to monitor the power usage of all compatible devices. Which is useful in these times of load shedding, although Eskom will probably still beat Alexa at switching off your power anyway.
Last Updated: January 27, 2021