Amazon’s smart voice assistant, Alexa, went down for two hours today, but the service is now recovering with many speakers back to fully operational. According to Down detector, Amazon, Alexa and Amazon Web Services started to see a spike in issues from around 2am ET / 7am GMT on January 21, 2022. The service went down in the UK, but also across Europe, with our colleagues in Italy and Germany confirming Alexa issues on the continent.
Alexa is an artificial intelligence-based Voice Assistant developed by Amazon. This is one of many intelligent personal assistants in the market which can help with making phone calls, playing music, etc. It is designed to use voice interaction technology to play music, answer questions with information from Google search engine or Wikipedia or set general reminders like “don’t forget your coat!”
<p>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. </p>
<p>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.</p>