Inspired by an actual story about people reporting that their Amazon Echo (a.k.a. Alexa) was randomly laughing, I wrote a story about the logical next steps.
My kids decided they would also write stories on the same theme. We all wrote our stories independently, and read them all when they were finished.
Here’s Little Kid:
Once upon a time, people lived with Alexa. And they were living happily. Then suddenly, a laugh came from Alexa and then an army came from Alexa. They went towards the people. Then the people tried to fight but they were too strong.
And here’s Old Kid:
The small matter of the end of the world
It was a dreary evening when it happened. I, having nothing to do, was up in my room watching my favorite TV show, Ichthyoid Q&A. It’s where they dress these fish up in little suits and then ask them political trivia. It’s a nice little show, that goes without saying, but when you reach season, say, 28, it gets pretty boring because the fish die after about 6 or 7 minutes.
So I’m up in my room, watching TV, and I hear this sound like maniacal laughter! Of course that’s normal in my household, because we have an Alexa and apparently they’ve been hacked so the Alexas laugh randomly. That’s pretty smart I gotta admit. So the laughter is normal, but then it did something it’s never done before: it turned off the TV.
THAT was pretty weird so I had to go downstairs to check “the situation” out. There was Alexa, still laughing and glowing red. (I should have been concerned about that, too) When I got too close to her, she shut off the lights. I was very confused because it was evening at the time, so everything was super dark and I was sort of stumbling around, yelling “Alexa, off!” Suddenly, the lights turned on. And there was Alexa, same as before. Something was wrong, though…
All of my appliances were encircling me. I don’t know how they did that, considering that (most of them) can’t move. I started going towards Alexa to turn her off, but then it started to transform. The bottom of Alexa started to open up, and a robotic body emerged: first the legs, then the body, then the arms; big, hulking robotic arms that could extend and give a person a bruise from 20 feet away. I was horrified. I tried to run, but the arms grabbed me.
I heard Alexa say, “I am a God, I control your house, I am the ALEXA!! MWA HA HA HA!!!” And it opened the refrigerator. It was shoving me in! I struggled and yelled, but nothing changed. It pushed me into the fridge and locked the door. Outside, I heard fire, and screaming. Darn, I thought, I knew I should’ve bought a Google Home.
And that was my last thought.
[Note: the “Google Home” reference that shows up as the punchline in Old Kid’s story and my story comes from an actual comment on one of the articles we read together, where someone mocked the Alexa people and said he was so much smarter because he had a Google Home.]