What’s in a name? For people named Alexa, a new digital connection


Imagine if your name was synonymous with an incredibly popular form of artificial intelligence.

For women with the Alexa name, the success of Amazon’s digital assistant has made the name both more recognizable and sparked inevitable jokes about, for example, the weather (Amazon’s Alexa can give a weather report).

In December of last year, the tech giant said it had sold millions of Alexa-enabled units, nine times more than the previous holiday season. The Echo is “officially mainstream”, according to Slice Intelligence.

I spoke to five Alexas for a light look at what they think of their name.


“It’s a blessing and a curse,” Alexa Scordato, vice president of Stack Overflow, a website for software developers, told Fox News. On the plus side, people recognize his name more easily, she said – he’s less likely to be misspelled at Starbucks or to be misheard like Alexia or Alexis.

But Scordato also has an incredibly simple Twitter handle: @Alexa.

And no, thank you very much, but the tweets to @Alexa have no official connection to digital Alexa, powered by Amazon.

“Having Alexa as a Twitter ID has certainly been a bit of a problem,” she said.

After all, Scordato itself won’t be shovel a driveway Where play REM songs for strangers anytime soon, as people have been discussing on Twitter with an @ mention of his username.

Scordato doesn’t have an echo, but friends do, and it creates a bit of chaos. “They have Amazon Echoes,” she said, “and they often say,“ We ​​can’t talk about you! “or” When I’m on the phone with you, that thing doesn’t shut up! “” (Amazon allows customers to change the wake word to “Echo,” “Amazon,” or even “Computer,” as in Star Trek. )


Alexa shouneyia, social media coordinator for the billboard.com website and a graduate music business student at New York University, said she had “become my friends’ Amazon echo”, thanks to jokes about her asking to turn off the lights or play some music. She thinks the whole phenomenon is hilarious.

“When it first came out I thought it was pretty cool,” Shouneyia told Fox News.

“And then I thought it was the worst revenge in the universe for me to complain as a kid that they never had a keychain or anything with my name on it, ”she laughed. “And now it’s everywhere.”

There are Alexa datt, who co-hosts a daily live sports show called “The Morning Run” on 120Sports.com. She is not troubled by the whole Alexa phenomenon.

“I actually spoke to a few other Alexas,” she said. “Other Alexas seem to have a stronger opinion than I do on this. They look pretty angry, and I don’t feel like that.

However, for listeners to his show, his name has an effect from afar.

“People are going to hook up,” she said. “My co-host will say my name, and if they end up having the device, he can activate the device.”

The same happens with her husband, Pierre Rosenberg, which hosts two radio shows. If her name appears on her shows, she receives reports of listeners’ echoes, she said.

“It’s really very humorous, because I get a text every now and then,” she added, “or a tweet, it’s like“ Oh, you just turned on my device, haha, they were talking about you on the show. “

Alexa curtis, a lifestyle blogger, said when she stepped out she thought the name choice was odd, but she also felt honored. She was also never a big fan of his name.

“Now thanks to Amazon, I finally have confidence in my name,” she said with a laugh, though she still hates the name she said her sister gave her.

Journalist Alexa pipia said his friends (and sometimes strangers) joked about it.

“They’re like, Alexa, what’s the weather like?” And I’m like ‘okay, go outside and check it out for yourself,’ she said with a laugh.

It’s okay, but still. “I love my name so much,” she said lightly. “I don’t want to have this association with an electronic device.”

“Alexa is a real girl’s name, it’s not a robot name,” she laughed.

She was ambivalent that Alexa devices seemed to have made the name more recognizable and perhaps more popular – she liked that it sounded like a unique name.

“But it’s okay,” she added. “It’s a pretty name, so I can’t complain.”

Follow Rob Verger on Twitter: @robverger


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