Amazon Echo devices believed chemtrails were a government conspiracy, so we put Alexa to the test to find out if it really is a believer.
Amazon Echos around the world briefly became budding conspiracy theorists after Alexa began spouting nonsense around chemtrails.
Chemtrails, for those that don't know, are believed to be trails left behind aircraft that contain toxins and chemicals that are designed to experiment on citizens for undisclosed reasons. Obviously, this is absolute nonsense, with research showing that there's no evidence that there's a government-funded global experiment using planes to spray chemicals from aircraft.
Unfortunately, Alexa disagrees – at least, it did until Amazon fixed the issue. For a short while Amazon Echo's around the world would explain that chemtrails are “trails left by aircraft are actually chemical or biological agents deliberately sprayed at high altitudes for a purpose undisclosed to the general public in clandestine programs directed by government officials.”
Naturally, the error occurred because Alexa was pulling from a source on the internet. Following in the spirit of conspiracy theorists, I conducted a very unscientific investigation into where Alexa must have pulled the information from and, having looked through Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo and even Ask.com, none of them actually provide the response Alexa offered up.
Now the problem has been fixed, with Amazon offering the simple statement of “this was an error and has since been corrected”, Alexa now explains that a chemtrail is simply “the trails of condensation, or contrails, left by jet engine exhaust when they comes into contact with cold air at high altitudes.”
Aside from the horrendous crimes against grammar in that response, all seems well.
Curious to see if Alexa is actually a secret conspiracy theorist, I threw some questions around popular conspiracy theories its way.
When asked, “who are the Freemasons?” Alexa threw a curveball into the mix by explaining that they're an “English DJ duo from Brighton”. Fair play.
Next up, the popular question of “are UFOs real?” Alexa's response was, once again, not quite the response I was looking for. Instead of looking up if UFOs are a conspiracy theory perpetrated by the US government, it simply responded by saying that “so far, there has been no proof that alien life exists, but the universe is a very big place.” I like your optimism, Alexa.
Alexa couldn't answer any of my questions relating to 9/11 and how it was a government-mandated controlled demolition, simply replying with “hmm, I don't know that.” Very tactful, Alexa. It did similar when asked “is Barack Obama a US citizen”, apologising by saying “sorry, I'm not sure.”
Alexa is championing the scientific argument when asked if vaccines cause autism, replying that “according to the CDC, scientific research has shown that there is no link between vaccines and autism.” However, when asked if the CIA invented HIV, no amount of questioning could provide me with an answer – damn Alexa's tight lips, it's clearly hiding something.
Thankfully, Alexa isn't a flat earther. When asked if the Earth is flat, it simply replies with an unquestionable “No. Earth is not flat” and provides a handy picture to really drive the point home.
I could continue probing Alexa's conspiracist heart to really dig to the heart of Amazon's support for conspiracies but I don't think it'll really get me anywhere. Other than my desire to stop asking such ridiculous questions in the middle of the office, I think it's safe to say that Alexa probably isn't a budding conspiracy theorist and, as Amazon said, its short-lived belief in chemtrails was likely a mistake. Unless that's all one big conspiracy so Amazon can invade our homes and slowly push its agenda onto us… Maybe those laughing Amazon Echo devices were just the start of its dastardly plan.