Who Is Alexa — and What Does Amazon's Virtual Assistant Say About the Future of AI?

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More likely than not, you’ve asked a virtual assistant to Google something for you; adjust your music; or add an appointment to your in-phone calendar. From Apple’s Siri to the ever-handy Google Assistant, these AI helpers are here to lend a (nonexistent) hand. These days, one of the most popular virtual assistants is Amazon’s Alexa, which is now in millions of homes across the globe.

When it comes to setting timers and alarms, tapping into your at-home security cameras, reordering your Amazon staples or emceeing your workout playlist, Alexa is more than adept. But how did this now-ubiquitous virtual assistant come to be? And, perhaps more pressingly, are smart home features like Alexa safe?