Amazon’s Alexa, initially introduced in 2014, has become an integral part of many households, assisting with daily tasks and even sparking debates about privacy concerns. While some are cautious about their data, others find it hard to imagine life without the convenience of voice-activated assistance.
Over the years, Alexa has continuously evolved, introducing an array of new features, some of which are rather whimsical. These include “cheat codes” and even plans for the digital assistant to replicate the voice of a deceased loved one. Notably, Alexa has also found itself in a role that one might not expect: diffusing tension during awkward social situations.
Imagine a scenario where you’re hosting friends for dinner, and the conversation has veered into a sensitive topic such as politics, religion, or money. Instead of personally redirecting the discussion to a safer subject, you can now entrust this task to Alexa.
By simply uttering, “Alexa, change the subject,” you hope to shift away from the contentious topic. However, Alexa’s suggested alternatives may not always lead to smoother conversations.
Some of the sample conversation starters, introduced in 2019, are intriguing, like “Pineapple on pizza was the greatest culinary development of the 20th century. Discuss…” and “Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?”
In addition to its ability to defuse awkward situations, Alexa provides another handy feature that you might not be aware of: the option to access and delete voice recordings it has captured.
To do this, access the Alexa app on your device, navigate to the left-hand menu, enter “Settings,” and then proceed to “Alexa Privacy.” Here, you can review and listen to recorded audio files, either individually or collectively by specifying a date range for a mass deletion.
If you’re concerned about your voice commands being saved, such as “Alexa, play Radio 1,” this feature can be a valuable tool for preserving your privacy.