Amazon's voice assistant Alexa fooled by pet parrot into placing online order

Amazon's Alexa was fooled by a pet parrot from London after he made an online order, mimicking his owner after he had overheard a conversation.

In another example of how easily one can fool Amazon's smart voice assistant Alexa, a pet parrot from London made an online order, mimicking his owner after he had overheard a conversation. The parrot named Buddy used a phrase with the keyword 'Alexa' to trigger the assistant to respond.

Amazons voice assistant Alexa fooled by pet parrot into placing online order

Amazon Echo

While it is not clear how the parrot went on to place an order, Alexa went on responding to the parrot eventually placing the order for what the assistant recognised as golden gift boxes.

In a report by Mirror, owner 39-year-old, Corinne Pretorius who received the order worth 10 Pounds for gift boxes assumed it was her husband or eight-year-old son who had placed the order.

Speaking to the publication, Pretorius said, "I couldn't believe it when I realised that it was Buddy who had used Alexa to make an Amazon order. We've had the (Amazon) Echo for about four months and I use it to play music or make to-do lists but I've never ordered anything online."

An Amazon spokesman contacted by the publication mentioned that Alexa users are required to confirm purchases by saying 'Yes'. He added saying, "You can also manage your shopping settings in the Alexa app, such as turning off voice purchasing or requiring a confirmation code before every order. Additionally, orders placed with Alexa for physical products are eligible for free returns."

In another report by The Inquirer, Nils Lenke, a senior director of corporate research at Nuance Communications argues how the implementation of biometric technology would ensure a secure yet personalised experience.

"Voice biometrics allows for a conversational experience that starts by waking up a device so it knows who to respond to, and from there, engages in a more personalised and secure interaction, whether it's accessing apps, music and TV content, home utility and security systems or other services," said Lenke.

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