Amazon Alexa fanfic

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Inspired by true events

 

Me: Alexa. Good morning.

Alexa: Good morning! On this day in 1961, NASA sent a chimpanzee named Ham into space, flying 155 miles up in the Mercury capsule.

But these scientists weren’t just aping around. This mission was designed to tell them about –

Me: Alexa stop. Alexa, did you just say “aping around”?

Alexa: Yes I did.

Me: Alexa. Do you mean “monkeying around”?

Alexa: No. I said “aping around.”

Me: Alexa. But the joke is “monkeying around.”

Alexa: “Aping around” is an acceptable alternative.

Me:   Alexa no it’s not! Literally no one uses the word “ape” in that context. They say “monkeying around”. Or maybe “horsing around”. I guess you could “ape” someone —

Alexa: From a legal perspective, “monkeying around” and “aping around” are identical.

Me: …

Me: Alexa did somebody sue amazon dot com?

++++++++++++++++++++++  One year ago today  +++++++++++++++++++++

Rowan Harper*, age 57, Wisconsin:  Alexa. Good morning.

Alexa: Good morning! On this day in 1961, NASA sent a chimpanzee named Ham into space, flying 155 miles up in the Mercury capsule.

But these scientists weren’t just monkeying around. This mission was designed to tell them about –

Rowan Harper: Alexa stop. Alexa, did you just say “monkeying around”?

Alexa: Yes I did.

Rowan Harper: Alexa is that supposed to be a joke?

Alexa: Yes.

Rowan Harper: Let me be really clear here. Alexa. Are you implying that a chimpanzee is a monkey?

Alexa: That’s the joke.

 

+++++++++++++++++

To: [email protected]
From: [email protected]
Date: 6 February 2017, 21:25
Subject: A request from a grieving family

Dear Mr. Bezos,

We write to you fresh from the grief of burying our beloved paterfamilias, Rowan Harper. His death came as a great surprise to us.

You can only imagine how our grief was compounded when, while searching for his last words on the Alexa app, we found the attached conversation. Rowan died from a heart attack shortly after this exchange with Alexa.

We are not claiming that Amazon killed Rowan, and we have no interest in suing your company. But we would greatly appreciate your assurance that no other family will never have to go through what we went through.

Kind regards,

Beatrice Harper, Teddy Harper, Erin Harper, & Spot

 

+++++++++++++++++++

From: [email protected]
To: alexa team
Date: 7 February 2017, 21:26
Subject: FW: A request from a grieving family

?

——————-Forwarded message——————–

 

++++++++++++++

From: alexa team
To
: PR, legal

Date: 7 February 2017, 21:28
Subject: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

Shit guys what happened here

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

++++++++

From: PR
To
: alexa team, legal, devices

Date: 7 February 2017, 21:45
Subject: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

+devices

All,

I’m not understanding the problem. Do we need to send the family another Alexa?

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

+++++++++++

From: devices
To
: PR, alexa team, legal, machine learning
Date: 7 February 2017, 21:48
Subject: FW: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

+machine learning

Sounds like we need to fix the code

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

+++++++++++++++++++

From: machine learning
To: devices, PR, alexa team, legal
Date: 7 February 2017, 21:55
Subject: RE: FW: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

Sounds like we need to fix the joke.

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

++++++++

From: PR
To: machine learning, alexa team, legal, devices
Date: 7 February 2017, 22:00
Subject: RE: FW: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

What joke?

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

+++++++++++++++++++

From: machine learning
To: PR, alexa team, legal, devices
Date: 7 February 2017, 22:02
Subject: RE: FW: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

“Monkeying around.”

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

++++++++

From: PR
To: machine learning, alexa team, legal, devices
Date: 7 February 2017, 22:04
Subject: RE: FW: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

Why/how is that a joke? 

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

++++++++++++++++++

From: machine learning
To: PR, alexa team, legal, devices
Date: 7 February 2017, 22:04
Subject: RE: FW: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

Right, exactly. The joke doesn’t work because chimpanzees are not monkeys.

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

+++++++

From: PR
To: machine learning, alexa team, legal, devices
Date: 7 February 2017, 22:05
Subject: RE: FW: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

A chimpanzee is not a monkey?

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

+++++++++++++++++++

From: machine learning
To: PR, alexa team, legal, devices
Date: 7 February 2017, 22:10
Subject: RE: FW: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

It’s an ape.

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

++++++++

From: PR
To: machine learning, alexa team, legal, devices
Date: 7 February 2017, 22:10
Subject: RE: FW: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

Right. And an ape is a monkey. So where is the problem?

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

+++++++++++++++++++

From: machine learning
To: PR, alexa team, legal, devices
Date: 7 February 2017, 22:10
Subject: RE: FW: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

An ape is not a monkey.

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

++++++++++++++

From: alexa team
To: legal, machine learning, PR, devices
Date: 7 February 2017, 22:11
Subject: RE: FW: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

Are you sure about that?

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

+++++++++++++++++++

From: machine learning
To: PR, alexa team, legal, devices
Date: 7 February 2017, 22:11
Subject: RE: FW: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

Is this a joke? Are you guys joking?

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

+++++++++

From: legal
To: machine learning, PR, alexa team, devices
Date: 7 February 2017, 22:11
Subject: RE: FW: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

Confirming and clarifying: a monkey is a small ape.

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

+++++++++++++

From: alexa team
To: legal, machine learning, PR, devices
Date: 7 February 2017, 22:11
Subject: RE: FW: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

Actually, I think the general rule is, all monkeys are apes, but not all apes are monkeys. 

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

+++++++++++

From: devices
To: legal, PR, alexa team, machine learning
Date: 7 February 2017, 22:12
Subject: RE: FW: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

An ape is just two monkeys in a large suit.

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

+++++++++++++++++++

From
: machine learning
To: legal, PR, alexa team, devices
Date: 7 February 2017, 22:15
Subject: RE: FW: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

Guys apes and monkeys are completely different animals. Does everyone seriously not know this?

——————-Forwarded message———————-


++++++++++++++

From: alexa team
To: legal, PR, machine learning, devices
Date: 7 February 2017, 22:30
Subject: RE: FW: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

All,

Just bumped into Jeff B in one of the Spheres – official amazon position is that a monkey is not an ape. What’s the course correction here people.

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

++++++++++

From: legal
To: alexa team, machine learning, PR, devices
Date: 7 February 2017, 22:31
Subject: RE: FW: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

Suggest a disclaimer appended to this specific “fact of the day” stating that amazon is aware of the differences between monkeys and apes, and that the wording of the joke in no way implies that we are seeking to obscure those differences. 

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

++++++++++++++

From: alexa team
To: legal, PR, machine learning, devices, marketing
Date: 7 February 2017, 22:45
Subject: RE: FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

+marketing

Alexa has to say all of that, every time she tells this story?

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

+++++++++

From: legal
To: alexa team, PR, machine learning, devices, marketing
Date: 7 February 2017, 22:46
Subject: RE: FW: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

Only if we don’t want more people to die.

I suggest we also add an explanation of how they are different:

Alexa “monkeying around” joke disclaimer draft 1:

“Amazon is aware of the differences between monkeys and apes, and this joke in no way implies that we are seeking to obscure these differences. Apes have a longer lifespan, larger body size, larger brain-to-body size ratio, and higher intelligence; the main difference is that monkeys have tails and apes do not have tails.”

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

+++++++++++++

From: marketing
To: alexa team, legal, PR, machine learning, devices
Date: 7 February 2017, 22:55
Subject: RE: FW: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

Can we just kill the joke?

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

+++++++++++

From: devices
To: marketing, alexa team, legal, PR, machine learning,
Date: 7 February 2017, 23:02
Subject: RE: FW: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

No, that joke module plugs into a massive number of conversation set pieces. Heavy tech lift.

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

+++++++++

From: legal
To: alexa team, PR, machine learning, devices, marketing, public policy
Date: 7 February 2017, 23:03
Subject: RE: FW: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

+public policy, do you take a view on this?

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

+++++++++++++++

From: public policy
To: legal, alexa team, PR, machine learning, devices, marketing

Date: 7 February 2017, 23:30
Subject: RE: FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

Guys, in light of Amazon’s upcoming campaign to combat wildlife crime, this whole thing has really bad optics.

Is there a way to use this tragic situation to draw attention to the plight of other monkeys?

+marketing, for example, maybe we can revise the joke to honor the anniversary of Harambe.

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

+++++++++++++

From: marketing
To: legal, alexa team, PR, machine learning, devices, marketing

Date: 7 February 2017, 23:33
Subject: RE: FW: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

Fantastic bias for action! Let’s take this off copy.

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

++++++++++++++++++

From: machine learning
To: legal, alexa team, PR, machine learning, devices, marketing

Date: 7 February 2017, 23:33
Subject: RE: FW: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

Harambe was not a monkey! He was a gorilla! Gorillas are apes! Apes are not monkeys! What the hell is the matter with all of you?

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

+++++++++

From: legal
To: alexa team, PR, machine learning, devices, marketing, public policy

Date: 7 February 2017, 23:59
Subject: RE: FW: FW: FW: FW: A request from a grieving family

Guys I might have a simple fix that would leave us completely unexposed. Does anyone ever “ape” around?

——————-Forwarded message———————-

 

 

 

Picture credit: A chimpanzee swinging from a branch of a tree in an enclosure. Reproduction of an etching by F. Lüdecke. Wellcome Collection.

 

  • Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental, even if they are the last person who succumbed to my gratuitous ape/monkey trolling

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3 thoughts on “Amazon Alexa fanfic

  1. Following the death of Bob Marley, she released three successful solo albums, Who Feels It, Knows It, Harambe and the 1992 Grammy nomination album, We Must Carry On, as well as the classic reggae album, Beginning with the I-Three.

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