Some people wonder whether Amazon's sidekick, Alexa, has ties to the CIA after a video surfaced showing the device powering down every time she was asked if she had connections to the agency (video below).
In the video, which popped up on March 9 and already has thousands of views, a woman asks her Alexa program a series of questions, starting with, "Alexa, would you lie to me?"
"I always try to tell the truth," the assistant answers, with her blue light on. "I am not always right, but I would never intentionally lie to you or anyone else."
The woman follows up by asking, "What is the CIA?"
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Alexa answers as expected: "The Unites States Central Intelligence Agency, CIA," she says quickly.
After this, things get eerie.
"Alexa," the woman says, in the same clear voice, as the device's blue light activates upon hearing the verbal cue, "Are you connected to the CIA?"
As soon as the woman finishes her question, the device powers down.
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She asks the same question over again. The same things happens.
Alexa is not designed to power off or ignore any questions. If she does not understand, she is programmed to respond with, "Sorry, I can't find an answer to the questions I heard," notes the Daily Mail.
Some people have raised questions about the video, although the device's makers said that the interaction was nothing more than a coincidence.
"This was a technical glitch which we have fixed," an Amazon spokesperson told the Daily Mail. "Alexa's response to this question is: 'Are you connected to the CIA?' 'No, I work for Amazon.'"
Nonetheless, some YouTube viewers thought that there was a little more to the story.
"This is scary, really scary," commented one person.
"Alexa the realest," said another. "She aint snitching for nobody lol #PleadThe5th ."
The video comes after WikiLeaks released records from the CIA alleging that the agency has learned to hack into certain iOS and Android devices and that it has a program called "Weeping Angel" that can use the internet connectivity and microphones in Samsung Smart TVs to listen to ambient sounds in the room, reports New York Magazine.
In 2013, the CIA contracted Amazon Web Services to develop a $600 million computing cloud to be used by the intelligence community, notes The Atlantic. It is designed to make it much easier for different agencies to share information with each other and began operating in 2014.