(Last Updated On: February 3, 2020)

It has become associated with the term “servant”

The Amazon Echo Dot is one of the most popular Amazon products with integrated Alexa (From: Andres Urena, unsplash.com)
The Amazon Echo Dot is one of the most popular Amazon products with integrated Alexa (From: Andres Urena, unsplash.com)

Virtual assistant Alexa has become a household name thanks to the ubiquity of the Amazon smart speakers she’s found in. All you have to do is say “Alexa” and give the command for the handy assistant to answer your queries.

Unfortunately, those who share the same name are beginning to feel the burden of the direct association. According to a report by Business Insider, the issue has become exponentially rampant as the sales of Amazon speakers and other smart devices have gone up.

Amazon Didn’t Think Things Through

Affected people feel that Amazon was irresponsible for choosing a popular name for the virtual assistant. Unlike Google’s unique moniker for its smart devices, Alexa is a relatively popular name in the western hemisphere, having consistently been in the top 100 most popular names in recent decades.

Parents who’ve named their children Alexa have noted that it’s become directly associated with “servant,” to the dismay of kids everywhere. This has led to excessive teasing and bullying in the US.

”’I felt like it slammed me in the face,’ the parent of a child named Alexa tells Business Insider, when she began to notice just how relentlessly her child was being harassed about her name from kids and adults alike. This isn’t just a bit of teasing, ‘this is a whole different level,’ she said.”

This isn’t limited to children, however. Adults have also been bearing the negative nature of being called Alexa in this modern era. Business Insider learned from multiple adults and parents that they would go as far as changing their child’s name or avoiding it altogether because of the constant harassment.

”Another parent ‘made the financial sacrifice,’ to place their daughter in a private school where teasing is not allowed, hoping to protect her better.”

The situation has become so severe that a group called Alexa Is A Human was formed to raise awareness about the issue and have Amazon make substantial changes to how people communicate with their smart devices. Sadly, the online retail giant hasn’t responded to this day.

Sadly, the online retail giant hasn’t responded to this day.

Alternatives to Alexa

Although Alexa is the default wake word for Amazon’s hardware and services, it can be changed in the settings to something non-human, such as Amazon, Echo, or simply Computer.

Unlike on Google Home, you can change the wake word from
Unlike on Google Home, you can change the wake word from “Alexa” (From: Nicolas J Leclercq, unsplash.com)

The petition from Alexa Is A Human points this out as a quick solution for individuals to apply. As for Amazon itself, there’s no telling if the company will ever rectify this, even if the name is sharply dipping in popularity.