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I think it’s disingenuous for services like Alexa to give the impression of having a coherent, intelligent personality when the thing that talks to you is a patchwork of many complex systems, all running in server farms far away. The device sat in your room is not Alexa - it’s the business end of a very large, very complex networked iceberg. I also think that it’s a problem that the personality it pretends to have is bland, subservient, coded ‘female’ - a 1950s secretary in a box. This is why I like to make things that speak with many voices for these devices - a truer reflection of the herd of algorithms running things behind the scenes, and less bound to a particular false personality.
— Henry Cooke in prehensile/alexa-sittingroom
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