NewsCO.com.au –Buddy the parrot uses Alexa to shop online

September 20, 2017

BUDDY the parrot showed he’s a pretty clever boy by mimicking his owner to go shopping via Amazon’s Alexa voice-controlled system.

Shocked owner Corienne Pretorius could not work out how she had requested a $16 set of gift boxes until she realised her African grey had bought them.

The five-year-old pet had impersonated one of her conversations and placed the order while she was out.

Buddy activated her $250 Amazon Echo smart speaker, which connects to the internet shopping giant’s artificial intelligence hub.

Users can bark commands at it to control heating, order takeaway or access a host of other services.

It responds to the name “Alexa” and hilarious footage filmed by South Africa-born Corienne shows Buddy squawking “Alexa!” in her voice.

The bird adds in the film: “Oh, um, hang on! Alexa!” As Buddy shrieks, the top of the device on a shelf next to his cage can be seen lighting up blue — showing just how the shopping order was made.

Corienne, 39, of Greenwich, South East London, had ruled out civil engineer husband Jan, 45, and son Jaden, eight, before she worked out who was responsible for the order. She said: “I couldn’t believe it when I realised that Buddy had made an Amazon order.

“We’ve had the device for four months and I use it to play music or make ‘to do’ lists but I’ve never ordered anything online.

“When I came home on Sunday, I could hear Buddy talking but couldn’t quite make out what he was saying. Then I heard Alexa say, ‘Sorry I didn’t quite get that.’ Buddy said ‘Alexa’ and some gibberish, and the machine replied, ‘What is it you want to order?”

“I didn’t hear what happened after that and didn’t think anything of it until I got a notification that my Amazon order had been placed.

“I hadn’t ordered anything. I asked my husband and my son who didn’t know what I was talking about.

“So then I asked Alexa, ‘What was my last order?’ and she said it was these golden gift boxes.

“I laughed out loud because I knew then that it was Buddy.

“Buddy is hilarious. We have a cat and he mimics that too.”

An Amazon spokesman said customers using Alexa are asked to confirm a purchase by saying yes.

He added: “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.”

The story first appeared in The Sun.

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