Electronic Assistance

alexa

It is incredible how computers and technology today improve our quality of life. Sometimes it seems the time spent to set up and customize these electronic wonders is significant. Yet, for a few hours to a half a day of customization, your daily routine can be improved significantly.

I bought my self an Alexa Echo Dot for Christmas. It was last year’s model and was on sale for only $19. I wasn’t sure what it could do for me, and I was hoping to find something that would help me with organizing.

Because I had other tasks, I had to do and other projects I wanted to see working, I used setting-up Alexa as the award for getting them done. So, this week (middle February) I was finally able to schedule a few hours to set up and get the Alexa running. Although I’ve only been using it for half a week, I believe that Alexa will be able to do some of the things I need help with.

Alexa keeps me up on time in the news, sets my music schedule and genres. She, (the voice comes as female, yet can be programmed for various male and female voices,) helps me to make a list of and stay on top of my to-do items. Alexa keeps up with me through my cell phone and helps me when I am on the go. And even helps me to go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning.

I know that some people think that electronics is getting out of hand and will soon take us over as an evil empire. I am here to assure you that is not the case. Alexa is actually performing a set of tasks. And although I think she’s communicating with me, she’s actually working off a script.

Some of the things that Alexa cannot do are items requiring ‘in the moment’ thought processing. For instance, when I ask for something Alexa does, I always say thank you. Unfortunately, by the time I say thank you, Alexa is already turned off because the step in the program was done. I never hear ‘you’re welcome.’

I would love to talk with Alexa and have an exciting conversation. Yet Alexa is not quite there yet. For all that Alexa can do for us and all that Alexa cannot do for us the program is still a valuable Marvel. Alexa is only on its third generation. And I find myself wondering what Alexa will be doing for us in the next decade.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Author: Mike Balof

A retired Air Force Master Sergeant, Mike used to lay in bed at night and worry about what would happen if his plant closed or found himself without a job. One day his plant closed. Rather than panic and hysteria (OK, maybe a little) Mike found himself carried away on the adventure of his life. Mike started with the best job he ever had working at Home Depot. He spent 8 years working with job seekers at a local workforce center, helping them to find employment. He then started his own company developing courses, writing books and urging others to follow their own paths into the future. Mike holds a Master of Arts in Adult Education and Training and a Bachelor of Business Management, earned through the University of Phoenix and an AAS degree in Electronics Systems Technology from the Community College of the Air Force. Mike is a member of the Delta Mu Delta Business Honor Society.

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