Parrots can be smarter than humans, and are also understood better by Alexa, thanks to the exceptional mimicking abilities they naturally have. In an interesting instance of animal vs technology, a parrot, belonging to a London resident, successfully placed an order on Amazon for its human.
Corienne Pretorius, a resident of southeast London, posted her ‘parrot problems’ on Instagram, with the most interesting one where the gray feathered bird not only mimicked its owner’s voice, but also instructed a smart speaker to order a set of gift boxes for $13.50 (Rs 870 approximately).
According to The Sun, the five-year-old African grey called Buddy impersonated the owner when she was out, and placed the order using the Amazon Echo smart speaker. Buddy activated the speaker, and in its own gibberish way was able to place the order.
Pretorius noticed something was odd when a notification popped on her laptop saying an order was successfully placed. After ruling out her husband and son, she discovered it was actually Buddy who placed the order. She later recorded a footage of Buddy mimicking her saying the word ‘Alexa’.
Interestingly, Pretorius has never used the smart speaker to shop or place online orders using voice commands. As quoted in the report,”We’ve had the device for four months and I use it to play music or make ‘to do’ lists but I’ve never ordered anything online.” RELATED: Apple iPhone 7 Plus to Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus: Top smartphones to buy during pre-Diwali online sales
She further revealed how Buddy was discovered as the culprit behind the mysterious order. “When I came home on Sunday, I could hear Buddy talking but couldn’t quite make out what he was saying. Then I heard Alexa say, ‘Sorry I didn’t quite get that.’ Buddy said ‘Alexa’ and some gibberish, and the machine replied, ‘What is it you want to order?”
Given the Echo smart speaker is linked to the online shopping hub, it is fairly easy to order simply by talking to it. Customers using Alexa can confirm a purchase with a simple ‘Yes’. As Pretorius never had used the device for shopping, evidently she did not tweak her settings to disable voice purchasing or adding confirmation step before placing an order. Now that she is aware her shopaholic parrot can add to the expenses, she should probably make some changes to the speaker.
Image courtesy: The Sun