Do you use your manners to your smart assistant?

Alexa might be our most thoughtful friend. As you may have noticed if you have an Amazon device running your smart home, Alexa is now testing out a ‘brief mode’, which allows us not to have to hear her say ‘ok’ every time we ask her to perform a task, instead emitting a short chime to signal that the job has been done. Seems small, but with the new follow up mode (allowing us to ask back to back questions with no need to reawaken her each time), it means we don’t have to hear ‘ok’ ‘ok’ ‘ok’ repeated 10 times. A lot less irritating, right? Paying back the thoughtfulness to our A.I friend, in follow up mode, to end the conversation we just need a quick ‘thank you’ and Alexa will go back to sleep. All jokes aside, if Alexa is ‘thinking’ about our needs and wants, should be also doing the same? Should we be using our manners with Alexa? It would seem that the simple answer is no, as of course, Alexa isn’t a human and obviously doesn’t understand or appreciate manners. But, with follow up mode, it would seem that those who use Alexa are already at a point where they do use manners, and Alexa responds to the ‘thank you’ as a command to turn off. As much as it doesn’t matter whether we do or we don’t use our Ps and Qs in conversation with Alexa, Amazon is seemingly building this into the programming of their A.I. So even if using ‘thank you’ to us, is just another command, it does make us sound (and perhaps feel?) more polite. Thanks, Alexa.

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