Alexa, a first name victim of the success of the assistant ofAmazon

Some have already changed it, others ask to get it back. They are called Alexa and reproach Amazon for giving their first name to his vocal assistant. In a long survey published last Friday in the columns of the The Washington Post, whose owner is none other than Jeff Bezos, the journalist Alexa Julianna Ard echoes her namesakes and recounts the difficulties encountered on a daily basis by those who have probably the most pronounced first name in the world.

First name Alexa less and less given in the United States

Very popular since Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley chose it for their daughter in 1985, the first name Alexa is today worn by more than 130 people in the United States according to the data of the Social security administration. A popularity which, however, has declined sharply since the marketing of the vocal assistant ofAmazon seven years ago.

Indeed, while it was given to more than 6 little girls in 000 in the United States, only 2015 children received it in 1. A dizzying drop that seems to be linked to the equally impressive development ofAmazon Alexa, the voice assistant largely dominating the American market. A popularity which is not without causing problems for its namesakes who are beginning, for some in any case, to see a little red ...

They ask Amazon to be able to recover their first name

Indeed, if a handful are no longer called Alexa to the dismay of their parents, others still prefer to use their middle name, a minority going so far as to ask Amazon simply rename his voice assistant. In question, the jokes and taunts of which they are victims on a daily basis, which sometimes even go as far as sexual harassment ...

Well aware of this problem, Alexa Washington Post reporter Julianna Ard interviewed more than twenty-five women and girls ages 5 to 55 named like her to see how the voice assistant changed their feelings about their first name and identity.

"When I hear my name now, it's not good thoughts, it's like a tension" thus entrusted to him Alexa Morales, 28, pharmacy technician. Alexa Rae Caves, a beautician who took part in 'The Bachelor', relates that after her elimination from the TV show one of the most popular tweets on the subject was none other than " Thank God, Alexa came home so that my Amazon Echo can relax. "

“I've heard all the jokes at this point. Someone decided it was funny at work to just call me Siri. " Alexa Smith

Alexa García, a student living in Puebla, Mexico, discovered the first setbacks linked to her first name during the Covid-19 pandemic. Forced to take her lessons by videoconference, she quickly realizes that her political teacher has a device Amazon Echo which, logically, is triggered as soon as his first name is spoken. An event that does not fail to draw attention to the young student and to provoke laughter from her classmates. Obviously not knowing how to change the wake word from her connected speaker, his teacher therefore preferred to call him "Alé", not without a small smile on his lips.

"I don't like when they change my name »Explains the young Mexican before adding "I don't feel respected". What confirms Alexa Smith, who nevertheless thought "Have already heard all the jokes at this point", until the day where one of his collaborators simply called him Siri. "One robot or another, that is ultimately not so important" he explained to himself.

The author of the article confirms, specifying having "Also experienced uncomfortable encounters afterAmazon made the name a wake-up call, especially by receiving orders«  as if she were a robot. "Almost two years ago I started to introduce myself outside of work and family by my middle name, Juliana" She adds.

Alexa Morales, who works in a hospital with speakers Amazon Echo, for its part, has completely stopped shopping on the platform of the e-commerce giant. "I can't even watch the stuff ofAmazon without wanting to reverse the package " she explains, confident that she cannot understand how Jeff Bezos' company was able to choose his first name for his voice assistant.

“It was like you had so much money and so many people working for you and not a single person was thinking of saying, 'Listen, Alexa is a name people use '… ” For her, as for others, Amazon should therefore simply change the name of his voice assistant ...

Amazon does not wish to change the name ofAlexa

Amazon obviously does not wish to change the name of his assistant, explaining that he refers to the library ofAlexandrie and "Reflects the depth of knowledge ofAlexa » according to Lauren Raemhild. "When choosing a wake-up word, we took into account both the technical characteristics from a voice recognition point of view and customer feedback." adds the head of public relations of the company in a press release.

A change that would also be a big marketing error, many users reporting having precisely chosen Alexa rather than its competitor Google Assistant because they prefer to use a first name rather than the name of a company. "It wouldn't be a bad idea to rename Alexa in Astro " Judge Ahmed Bouzid, CEO of Witlingo and former product manager Amazon Echo, the company just launched a new robot that responds to the name ofAmazon Astro.

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But can the company really be held responsible? For Alexa S. a French user whose testimony we have gathered, the answer is no. " If anyone ever gives me such a joke, I can tell you that they will quickly understand their mistake. Either way, there are much worse surnames and people live with them regardless. We can do nothing against the stupidity of some, they will always find something else! " A false controversy therefore, for this user who concedes all the same having changed awakening word upon receipt of her first EchoDot 4. "We still changed to Echo at home, otherwise it wouldn't have been very practical for my husband".

An argument put forward by Amazon which specifies that "As an alternative to Alexa, we have several other wake-up words for customers to choose from, including Echo, Computer, Amazon and Ziggy. " This last name, which goes hand in hand with the new male voice assistant voice, could also pose a problem ... But can we really blame Amazon human stupidity?

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Fascinated by Alexa since the day I received it in beta test, I gradually became passionate about the subject, before deciding to go further by creating a site with Jean-Christophe. An activity that allows me to quench my thirst for new technologies and share my discoveries about the nicest of communities: Les Alexiens.