Almost 8,000 people have reported issues with the virtual assistant. Reports suggest the outage is widespread across the UK as well as Europe.
People went on social media to complain about the outage – with some complaining their household devices were not working.
“My whole house relies on Alexa for lighting, heating, security, doors etc – I’m sitting in a dark house in the cold and the door won’t open,” wrote one complaint.
“She is refusing to acknowledge me!!” wrote another. “On all 4 devices, fire TV and no music. Thankfully I can still control lights on app.”
Amazon has not yet responded to the problem publicly, reports Birmingham Live.
The outage has raised concern whether households are putting too much emphasis on artifical intelligence.
ESET, an internet security company, recommends all households use traditional “switches” and other “backup” technologies.
Jake Moore, Global Cyber Security Advisor at ESET: “Although it is difficult to predict whether or not this is a cyberattack on Amazon’s servers, it does pose the question of whether or not we are putting too much emphasis on smart technology in our homes. Cyberattacks are still possible despite the increasingly sophisticated anti-malware technology that exists, and therefore we must never become complacent against the possibility of such a hack which can dramatically effect large numbers of people.
“Once we put all our eggs into one technological basket, there becomes one simple point of failure that can have a huge impact in a smart home and therefore our daily lives. Using smart devices to control lights, heating and other areas of a home is extremely tempting but it is advised to always know if the backup ‘old fashioned’ switches are still applicable.”
Alexa is Amazon’s artificial intelligence voice assistant. It can be used with a smart speaker or a range of other devices to do things like browse the web, order products, control smart home appliances, and much more.
However, Alexa relies on connection to Amazon Web Services, which may have been the cause of its problems this morning.
Published at Fri, 21 Jan 2022 09:52:00 +0000