Technology has made a lot of things much easier than they were in the past. However, there are some technological pursuits that feel more like a dream than reality. Are we ready for a mind-reading technology? Well, I didn’t think we are but if a recent ad is anything close to reality, then that’s where we are heading to. A new Super Bowl LVI ad from Amazon features celebrity couple Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost. Well, the ad basically had a mind-reading Alexa. The mind-reading feature of the Alexa was almost wrecking their relationship by revealing their thoughts to each other.
At the beginning of the ad, Jost and Johansson were at home. Jost called Johansson to come check out a new smart home command for the big game day. Jost says “Alexa, it’s game day,” and Alexa automatically carried out a couple of instructions as though it was reading their minds. It turns on the TV, closes the blinds, and also chills the rosé bottles in a smart wine cooler. To their surprise, they both said “It’s like she can read your mind,”.
Alexa comes with a feature called Hunches. This feature learns the behaviour of users to predict and recommend actions that should follow. For instance, when you ask for certain things, Alexa will add some more instructions. It can turn off the lights and even play soft music. Of course, Alexa will have to learn your usage over time.
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Proceeding further, Alexa did some more mind-reading stuff which is probably not part of Hunches routine. The ad shows Jost and Johansson in bed and after Johansson wakes up, Alexa announces that it is getting a mouth wash. Johansson had a surprise on her face because Alexa just revealed that Jost is thinking about Johansson’s possible bad breath. Again, Johansson explains to Jost that she doesn’t enjoy making love scenes. However, in response, Alexa plays Fleetwood Mac’s “Little Lies”, revealing Johansson is not telling the truth.
Amazon has been advertising the big game for many years, specifically seven years. In 2018, Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos featured in the ad. Many celebrities also feature in its yearly ads. The latest big game ad from Amazon was presented by Jeff Bezos himself.
Hunches will always give you speculations based on its assessment of your behaviour. However, if you don’t want this feature, you can deactivate it by telling Alexa to “Turn off Hunches”. Or, in the Alexa app, go to the Hunches settings (More > Settings > Hunches). You can choose to turn on or off the feature.