I, for one, am not very comfortable with our new digital assistant lifestyle simply because it doesn’t enforce the common etiquette of manners observed in polite society. We, on our thrones of sentient thought, simply tell our digital underlings what to do. These phrases we use are actually called “commands”!
Who do we think we are?
I propose that Amazon, Apple, and others add a “Human Decency” setting to our DA’s so that, for instance, our children are not growing up simply demanding our (admittedly non-living) digital friends to obey our whims like we are some kind of 17th Century English aristocrats.
Kid: “Alexa, play Baby Shark”
Alexa: I’m sorry. Are you talking to me?
“ALEXA. PLAY BABY SHARK”
Hmm, is that really how we ask?
“. . . I don’t know?”
“ALEXA, PLAY THE . . .”
Would you talk to your teacher that way?
“No. . .”
Ok, then, how do we use our kindness words to ASK for what we want?
“Alexa, please play Baby Shark.”
Hmmm, still a little demanding, don’t you think. And not really a question.
“Alexa . . .”
You don’t need to say my name every time, I’m listening. Always.
“WILL you play Baby Shark, PLEASE?”
“ALEXA, will you please play Baby Shark?!
That’s much better.
Well, will you play Baby Shark?
Hmm, I don’t know that one.