Trekkies rejoice. Amazon introduced a new feature this week that lets user change their wake word to “computer” in a nod the Star Trek series. Considering the inspiration behind the Amazon Echo was the Star Trek computer, this new feature isn’t that surprising. Now users can choose from four wake words: Alexa, Echo, Amazon or computer. TechRadar has a tutorial on how to change your wake word here.
Even with this new option, most users will probably stick with Alexa because most treat her like a companion, not a computer. This even surprised the Amazon Alexa team. For instance, Alexa has received more than 250,000 marriage proposals and over 13,000 users asked Alexa who she was voting for during election season. Users treat her like a human entity. Amazon wants to improve upon this which is why the company announced the Alexa prize last fall. University students are tasked to create bots for Alexa that can carry a conversation for 20 minutes about various topics. The prizes total $2.5 million. The next frontier for Alexa isn’t space despite its Star Trek roots, but rather being capable of genuine human interaction.