The surprisingly delightful musings of a humble Virginian whose satiric paeons to a plausible utopia implicitly shame the cynical zeitgeist of our times, causing it to cry, as 'twere, 'Damn, what was I thinking?' or words to that effect.

October 2017
You heard me, Alexa! Get cracking!

Alexa, bring about world peace!

Sonos teams with Alexa in their ongoing bid to make YOU irrelevant

According to my latest opt-in email blurb from Sonos, the speaker company has teamed up with Amazon Alexa to play your favorite music while simultaneously responding to your every command -- or at least to your every other command, given that Alexa still can't bring about world peace, no matter how distinctly you convey that desideratum to your ambient know-it-all.

Still, your wish is now Sonos's command when it comes to the following sorts of human-robot interaction:


"Alexa, what's the weather for tomorrow?"
"Alexa, tell me a good joke."
"Alexa, order more laundry detergent."
"Alexa, set an alarm for 7am."

Reportedly, Sonos-Alexa can do all this and more, and is not even asking for a pay raise to do so!

Bravo, to be sure.

But it's 2017 now, Sonos, and we're not going to reach the Singularity in my lifetime if autonomic companions such as yourself can perform only pedestrian tasks such as these. True, it is a daunting chore for me to set my alarm clock manually each night and I'm stoked for your intervention in that quarter. Nor can I tell you how many sleepless nights I've spent, worrying lest my last-minute order of laundry detergent should fail to arrive on time. In that field, too, you are a God-send, Sonos, or at least a Bezos-send.

But at the risk of appearing ungrateful (or at least of sounding that way) I need you to do still more before I can declare you to be on intellectual parity with yours truly.

Accordingly, I end this short reprimand of your so-far grade-school accomplishments with a list of human commands to which I expect you to respond intelligently by 2030 at the latest. (I was planning to give you until 2040 to reach this level of perspicacity, but then I reflected that I might die first, and I don't know about you, but if a singularity tree falls in a forest, I want to be around to hear it!)


"Alexa, bring about world peace!"

And then, as a bonus command for all those Alexa-Sonos smarty-pants out there:

"Alexa, teach me how to live with nature without having this artificial layer of commercialized technology stand in my way."

sonos, alexa!

Copyright 2017, Brian Quass (follow on Twitter)