Yesterday was pleasant and relaxing. But there was this one startling moment.
We were about to get out of the car at one of our stops when Furrydoc’s smartphone suddenly screeched with a voice crying, “Alexa, play _____” (with the blank part being a particular streaming song list from Amazon).
The voice belonged to one of Furrydoc’s office staffers, and she recalled the moment the previous day they were all trying in vain to get Alexa to deliver them a little Jimmy Buffett for their Friday afternoon wind-down.
I think merely talking to Alexa is creepy enough. Furrydoc — having a gadget-minded family, money to spare, and a more modern lifestyle than mine — uses home and office electronics I wouldn’t want within 100 yards of me.
But although she recognized the moment the voice was recorded, Furrydoc had no idea why that command to Alexa should suddenly burst out of her smartphone a day after it was given. She checked and said she had no apps open or anything else that might cause Alexa suddenly to intrude on our pleasant day.
“Kind of like you’re being spied on,” said I.
“Creepy,” agreed she.
“Like the CIA is with us.”
“They’d be very bored, though.”
Of course, chances are she did have something open or did hit some button or … something. Likely there’s an innocuous (or as close to innocuous as tech gets these days) explanation for the eerie intrusion.
Still … that was a disturbing (not to mention loud) reminder that we’re not in much control of our supposedly personal tech. If she didn’t need that damned smartphone to take emergency client calls, I’d ask her to leave her wretched surveillance device at home.