AS if we needed further evidence of an impending robot uprising, Amazon Alexa can now control your home off its own back.
The intelligent assistant has been given the ability to proactively complete tasks based on your habits and frequent requests.
Amazon Echo speakers can now proactively control your smart devicesCredit: Getty Images – Getty
It means the AI can switch your lights on and off, control your heating and even activate your robot hoover without asking you first.
Alexa, which is loaded into US firm Amazon’s Echo speaker range, has long had the ability to suggest tasks based on what Amazon calls “hunches”.
For instance, if Alexa thinks you accidentally left a light on before you went to bed, the assistant will ask whether you want to switch it off.
Following a recent software update, Alexa will now automatically switch that light off for you without asking you first.
The AI can switch your lights on and off, control your heating and even switch on your robot hoover without asking you firstCredit: Getty – Contributor
You can give Alexa permission to carry out certain actions automatically using the Alexa app, according to a video released by Amazon on Monday.
“That means instead of turning down the head or starting the robot vacuum before you leave for work, you can just walk out the door,” Amazon said.
“Alexa can take care of the rest.”
Amazon has provided details on how to set up the feature here.
What is Alexa?
If you’ve never heard of Alexa, here’s what you need to know…
- Alexa is an “intelligent” personal assistant built by Amazon.
- You can find her on several different devices, including Amazon’s Echo speakers.
- Alexa responds to voice commands, and can talk back to you.
- She can perform thousands of different tasks, including telling you about the news or weather.
- But she can do more complex things too, like ordering a pizza or arranging an Uber taxi pick-up.
- To activate Alexa, you need to say “Alexa” to an Amazon Echo speaker.
- Alexa currently only works in English and German languages.
- Because she’s powered by artificial intelligence, Alexa is constantly getting smarter.
- Alexa will also get more used to your voice, and better understand what you want her to do over time.
On top of new Alexa abilities, Amazon is also rolling out its Guard Plus security subscription service.
When activated, your Echo alerts you if it hears certain noises in your home and can even offer to instruct human agent to call the emergency services.
Guard Plus costs $4.99 a month and you can sign up to it in the Alexa app. It’s only available in the US for now.
Following the recent update, Alexa can also now show you how much power your various smart appliances are using.
In other news, MPs have accused Amazon of spreading antisemitic conspiracy theories through Echo speakers in people’s homes.
Android users have been urged to steer clear of a dodgy app with 100million downloads on the Google Play Store.
And, teenager Charli D’Amelio has become the first person in the world with 100million TikTok followers.
What do you make of the new Alexa skill? Let us know in the comments!
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