Saturday, 15 April 2023

Ve have ways of making your talk work


It’s awfully easy to get carried away with AI and machine learning and become convinced that us human-beings might as well give up and crawl back into the primordial soup. Especially if most of those breathless trend and future reports can be believed.

But every so often, in the real world, there’s an amusing reminder that the machines aren’t quite there, yet.

A couple I know (German) have an Alexa device. They’ve had this thing for a few years and it’s always been a source of immense frustration that it just doesn’t understand me. Or rather, my voice. The thing is, these friends have a different taste in music to mine, but every time they (kindly) offer me the possibility of choosing something, Alexa goes on strike.

But no more.

Last night, I discovered the secret.

Just for a laugh, I tried pronouncing the song titles and names of groups in a dreadful cod German accent, worthy of a 1950s British war film.

Was it my threatening tone, or simply what she was used to? Whatever, Alexa obliged, no problem.

From Vigvem Bem to Vair doo yo go to my lofley to Zree leetle birds to Shildren of ze revolusion, all my orders were understood and played by Alexa.


Just have to remember now to ham it up next time I’m on the phone to the bank.

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