Amazon.com Inc.'s Echo, a voice-activated speaker that plays music, answers questions and controls other hardware, now has a new skill: mocking Donald Trump.
Well, only mildly. Tell Alexa, the virtual assistant software that powers Echo, "Alexa, send Donald Trump to space," and the machine responds with, "I think Jeff Bezos reserved him a seat on his Blue Origin rocket." The new feature was included in a series of updates to Echo that added news sources to help users follow the U.S. presidential campaign.
Why space? This should explain it:
Bezos, in addition to being chief executive officer of Amazon and owner of the Washington Post, is also betting on space exploration with Blue Origin, a rocket company. The tweet by Bezos (and it was only his fourth—ever) was in response to Trump's earlier attack against Amazon and the Washington Post:
The Web retailer and the newspaper aren't directly related, so any tax-saving measures wouldn't work this way, as Austan Goolsbee, economics professor at the University Chicago's Booth School of Business, suggested:
What Amazon managed to do with the new Echo feature, however, is bring its boss's varied interests together to have a little fun at Trump's expense.