Alexa Can Now Proactively Act on Hunches on Its Own

Illustration for article titled Alexa Can Now Proactively Act on Hunches on Its Own
Photo: Catie Keck/Gizmodo

Amazon’s assistant can now power on your robot vacuum or turn off your smart lights all on its own. Yes, you heard that right.

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Amazon announced last September that it would soon be rolling out an update that would allow Alexa to act on hunches it had about the way your connected devices are behaving in your home—turning off a smart bulb in a room long after you’ve gone to sleep, for example. Normally, Hunches works by allowing Alexa to merely suggest solutions to these detected problems. But now, Alexa users can opt to allow the smart assistant to just do the thing itself.

Hunches are enabled by default, though Alexa will run through how to disable the feature after explaining your first Hunch. To access your Hunches preferences, open the Alexa app and select the “more” option from the menu at the bottom of the screen. Select settings, scroll down, and click on Hunches.

This was especially interesting to me, the owner of a connected coffee maker. Surely, I thought, this has the potential to go terribly awry should Alexa go rogue and start brewing my next morning’s coffee in the middle of the night—just slowly depleting my supply of coffee grounds.

But as of today, the feature is limited to lights, plugs, and thermostats. If you have another connected device, though, the spokesperson said that users “may start to receive Hunches from Alexa based on how you typically use your connected devices.”

For now, it seems, my coffee is safe. So help me if this bot starts slowly whittling away at what’s left of my sanity.

Update 1/26/21 7:45 p.m. ET: After publication, an Amazon spokesperson said, contrary to the company’s initial comment about support, smart lock automatic actions are not currently supported. We’ve updated this article to reflect this information.

DISCUSSION

simulacrum001
C. Montgomery Burner

a connected coffee maker.

Sounds very useful if not necessary.