Society has reached a new plateau in the continuous snowballing of technological progress; we stand at a place where we need devices on our bodies or in our homes. The Echo is an internet-connected device produced by Amazon to be a voice-first virtual assistant that lives in your home, much like Siri on an iPhone. These devices have the capability to constantly recognize, respond to, and record our voices and movements. As artificial intelligence systems evolve, these devices will soon be fully capable of interacting with us seamlessly. the devices maybe the closest we have to consumer ready artificial intelligence, but fortunately or unfortunately, (depending on your perspective),are still mostly dumb.
As a response to these devices, Schwartz commissioned five writers to create new pieces for performance on the Amazon Echo. He asked them to live with the voice-controlled virtual helper, which records anything that starts with the word “Alexa,” and compose texts to be played back through the devices in the gallery.
The writer who produced works for the Echo are: Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Sarah Blake, M. Carmen Lane, Anne Elizabeth Moore, and RA Washington.
Audio Sample from Sarah Blake’s Piece: