All the best presents have 5 letters and start with A (Alexa/Atari)

I wrote a really long post yesterday and I thought I’d saved it.  It turns out I didn’t.  Where it’s gone I’ve no idea.  But it’s really annoying.

The gist of yesterday’s post was I’ve bought an Amazon Echo Dot as an early Christmas present for my family.  We’re enjoying it.  It’s a fab juke box.  The far-field voice recognition is obviously excellent, but it’s funny how it’s given me a nostaligia trip back to Christmas 1988 when I get my first computer – not counting my Dad’s home built Sinclair ZX81 – an Atari XE and how as an 8 year old I used to try and create my own AI in BASIC.  It was no better than IF X Then Y really but when you think about it Alexa’s logic won’t be massively more sophisticated.  It’s the voice recognition that’s ace.

Anyway, the crux of my post was that I imagine the Easter Eggs are not high-up the Amazon Echo feature team’s product backlog, but they’re a great example of what can be pulled in at the end of a sprint when you’ve got a tiny amount of time left.  They’re also some of the most fun bits about the tech.  My eldest daughter, (ironically just about to have her 8 year old Christmas) has already declared her love for Alexa and asked her to marry her.  The AI knock back was polite.  “Let’s keep our relationship the way it is.”  I wonder if Alexa would prefer to marry my 28 year old Atari instead.  He’s hiding in the loft.  Maybe I should introduce them at some point.

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