Amazon Rolls Out Alexa App That Will Defuse Heightened Holiday Tensions

Amazon is hoping to take a bit of the sting out of the inevitable, inebriated political debate sure to happen around your holiday table with a new application, available through its Alexa home assistant.
Political action groups frequently charge their friends and fans with “converting” their families over the holidays and this year is no exception. The Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) campaign even mailed a “family persuasion guide” to thousands of students who expressed interest in canvassing for the Vermont Senator during the 2020 presidential campaign, in hopes that, this holiday, Bernie-acs across the country can disrupt the peace of Christmas to browbeat their loved ones into voting for Bernie in the early primaries.
To help tech-loving families keep from flat-out killing each other (something Alexa will also record, an unfortunate murder suspect in Florida learned to his detriment last year), Alexa will now suggest “fun debate questions” and issue “question prompts” so that you and your family can pick a less contentious subject than politics to disagree about. 
People Magazine reports that “people can use the phrase, ‘Alexa, change the subject,’ which will prompt the virtual assistant to ask a series of distracting debate questions.”
The questions seem straight out of the 1990s Saturday Night Live “Coffee Talk” sketch: “Anything from ‘What’s your favorite animal, and why?’ to ‘Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?’ may be asked by Alexa. Other questions include ‘If you could have any superpower, what would it be, and why?’, ‘Do you have a celebrity crush? Who is it? And why?’ and ‘Pineapple on pizza was the greatest culinary development of the 20th century. Discuss…'”
Amazon’s research arm, which conducts marketing focus groups for the mega-retailer, even has Alexa prepared with extra bandwidth and server space for the most contentious times Christmas Day. It turns out, most families have their worst arguments right around traditional supper time, at 6:30pm. They also revealed that most people argue with their mother (around 25% of respondents), and most arguments are about money or “what to watch on television” — not politics. The “rules of a board game” or “family gossip” are also popular debate topics.
Of course, Alexa can only do so much. If you do think you’ll become embroiled in a political or other contentious discussion at the holidays, experts suggest that you set boundaries and reinforce them. When things get heated, walk away. If, after a few cocktails, you think you’re ready to take a stab at converting your particularly partisan cousin, take a deep breath and suggest another subject. Or, give up and realize that few people can be berated out of their ideas. 
Amazon says that the new Alexa “change the subject” application will be available after Christmas, so it may be a good idea to plug it into your home assistant’s “speed dial” at least until November: “Despite the Christmas spin, the service is for life, not just for Christmas, and can be used any time when there’s a need to break up some tension,” the company told the Inquirer.
Amazon Rolls Out Alexa App That Will Defuse Heightened Holiday Tensions Amazon Rolls Out Alexa App That Will Defuse Heightened Holiday Tensions Reviewed by Your Destination on December 24, 2019 Rating: 5

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