TV anchor says live on-air ‘Alexa, order me a dollhouse’ – guess what happens next

TV anchor says live on-air ‘Alexa, order me a dollhouse’ – guess what happens next
Story on accidental order begets story on accidental order begets accidental order
By Shaun Nichols
Jan 7 2017
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/01/07/tv_anchor_says_alexa_buy_me_a_dollhouse_and_she_does/

A San Diego TV station sparked complaints this week – after an on-air report about a girl who ordered a dollhouse via her parents’ Amazon Echo caused Echoes in viewers’ homes to also attempt to order dollhouses.

Telly station CW-6 said the blunder happened during a Thursday morning news package about a Texan six-year-old who racked up big charges while talking to an Echo gadget in her home. According to her parents’ Amazon account, their daughter said: “Can you play dollhouse with me and get me a dollhouse?” Next thing they knew, a $160 KidKraft Sparkle Mansion dollhouse and four pounds of sugar cookies arrived on their doorstep.

During that story’s segment, a CW-6 news presenter remarked: “I love the little girl, saying ‘Alexa ordered me a dollhouse’.”

That, apparently, was enough to set off Alexa-powered Echo boxes around San Diego on their own shopping sprees. The California station admitted plenty of viewers complained that the TV broadcast caused their voice-controlled personal assistants to try to place orders for dollhouses on Amazon.

We’ll take this opportunity to point out that voice-command purchasing is enabled by default on Alexa devices.

[snip]

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