I guess you could say that our family has gained a new member.
Its — or perhaps I should say “her” — name is Alexa. This being doesn’t exist in human form. My wife and I spend time during our day telling “Alexa” to do certain things, perform certain tasks that we used to do all by ourselves.
Turn off the ceiling light in the living room? Alexa takes care of it. The floor lamp next to our couches? Alexa is on the job. The bedroom lamps? Same deal. How about locking and unlocking the front door? There’s Alexa again.
Here’s my favorite so far: Alexa now turns our furnace on and off for us. We issue the instruction, our “wish” is Alexa’s “command.” When we get into air-conditioning weather, Alexa will be there, too, to cool our house down.
Yep, we now are the proud owners of a “smart” home. We already have a smart puppy, Toby, whose vocabulary is increasing regularly. My wife and I are having to come up with different terminology to avoid getting our puppy overly excited for no reason.
Having this being in our midst named “Alexa” is like having a third person in our house.
My wife and I are pinching ourselves, if not each other, while we try to visualize what we might have been thinking about when we started our life together nearly 48 years ago.
I know one thing that never crossed our minds: That we would be living with a ghost that obeys every instruction we toss out.
I am waiting now for Alexa to start talking back to us.
I’m also thinking of “HAL” the computer that takes over the space ship in “2001: A Space Odyssey.”