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Amazon wants you to have an erotic relationship with Alexa

It seems that Jeff Bezos's company hopes you'll watch the Super Bowl and consider getting very intimate with your smart speaker.
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer

She dreams of getting intimate with Alexa.

Screenshot by ZDNet

While you're nibbling your tortilla chips on Sunday, Amazon will be wanting you to expand your nibbling possibilities.

That's the only thing one can conclude from the company's latest attempt to create intimacy between you and its intrusive artificial intelligence.

The company has just released its Super Bowl ad that so bathes in steaminess that some might find it unseemly.

Why, it even includes the line: "Things are getting way too wet around here."

We begin with a woman claiming the Amazon Echo is "flawless." She waxes that she couldn't imagine anything more beautiful.

And then she remembers Michael B. Jordan.

The "Creed" and "Black Panther" actor isn't quite my idea of infinite pulchritude. Yet we're here faced with our woman fantasizing that Alexa is actually embodied in him, rather than, say, Amazon's innate creepiness.

The woman whispers to Alexa/Jordan in come-hither tones. Her real-life lover wonders what's come over her.

Honestly, I do too.

We've already seen Joaquin Phoenix fall in love with the artificially intelligent voice of Scarlett Johansson in "Her."

Here, though, is Amazon's insistence that you should just as easily fall in love with a cheap little gadget that may or may not be spying on you. And may or may not be rather more insecure than Amazon would prefer you to know.

In any case, don't you want your relationship with your smart speaker to be stable, with the potential of a long-term commitment?

Being with a Hollywood actor can't often engender the idea that this could be forever. There are too many temptations along the way. For the actor, that is.

Then again, perhaps this is a perfect analogy. After all, smart speakers are renowned for letting you down, not hearing what you're actually saying and even doing things without telling you. All facets of some Hollywood actors I can think of.

Still, when you're stuck at home with only the same old humans and animals for company all day, perhaps the only thing you can do is fantasize about your smart speaker.

I just asked Siri whether Michael B. Jordan is cute. She replied: "I don't personally know Michael B. Jordan, so I couldn't say."

You see, what you see on screen is merely a fantasy. Just like the fantasy of Alexa being your lover.

But this is all merely trying to get you to buy into Alexa's world, isn't it? Laughter works.

It does, yet here are some words from Morning Consult's latest Super Bowl ad research: "In general, ads reflecting our current reality -- people wearing masks, practicing social distancing or even on video calls -- would be significantly more likely to drive purchase likelihood than particularly non-compliant or unrealistic visuals including people not wearing masks."

There's quite a lot of unrealism in this ad. Not much social distancing, either.

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