After writing about Palmer Lucky’s lunatic attempts to recreate Sword Art Online, I thought I was done with the dystopic blog posts today, but alas, Amazon exists.
The Bezos-owned company published a blog post about how the Alexa personality team develops jokes and songs for the virtual assistant. I’ve likely read too many press releases over the years, but there’s just something about how random this one is that makes it a parody of itself.
The concept of the article seems to be written with the dull tone of any other fundamental PR pitch, but with jokes as the concept instead of some Amazon coding incentive. This means we get gems like this throughout, “Jokes that meet a high bar push to production,” and “a Friday afternoon joke review session.”
At first glance, this seems like a fun job, but the more I think about being stuck on the Amazon campus writing jokes for a robot, the more that ideal fills me with a fear I can’t describe.
And to top it all off, the company is even selling a joke book with 99 Alexa jokes and asks you if this blog post has improved your view of Amazon at the end of the post. If you’ve got to ask, the answer is no.
Overall, it’s just funny to think that Amazon is paying a team of engineers to”write” jokes and feed them into a machine that’s about as entertaining as a seven-year-old with a copy of 99 The Funniest Joke Book Ever!
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A few Alexa joke samples I got when I asked for jokes (not edited)
“A lot of people ask me if they’d look good with facial hair. If you mustache the question, the answer is no.”
“How many soccer players does it take to change a light bulb? I’m not sure, but it would be a lot less if they could use their hands.”
“What do you call a store that sells only bagels and donuts? Hole foods.”
(This was actually presented again)”A lot of people also me if they’d look good with facial hair. If you mustache the question, the answer is no.”
“What’s the Easter Bunny’s favourite kind of music? Hip Hop!”
“What has two wings, a tail and breaths fire? A chicken with heartburn.”