Tech

Where does Amazon’s Alexa name come from?

The origin of Alexa

Alexa is a name of Greek origin and feminine gender that has variants such as Alejandra, Alexandra or simply Alex among many others. Its etymological meaning is: the one who is protector or the woman who will protect. But this is not really what you are interested in knowing or what we want to tell you but why the Amazon voice assistant is called that, what is the origin or reason for the name used by the well-known voice assistant Alexa.

To know why it is called like this, the first thing is to go back in time, until late 2014. It was in November of that year when Amazon announced Alexa along with Echo. With the arrival of the company’s first smart speaker, a voice assistant with a woman’s name appeared on the scene.

Alexa was the name of a solution created by the company founded by Jeff Bezos that would allow the user to communicate and perform a multitude of actions just by saying the appropriate voice command. Of course, many wondered why that name.

Among some initial hypotheses was that Alexa was named after the Library of Alexandria. This has always been considered a place brimming with wisdom and to some extent it could make sense, because Alexa would theoretically have the ability to answer any question you ask her. However that was not the case.

Alexa was born inspired by the voice on the edge of the Star Trek ship, but the name had nothing to do with the series and films of said space saga but a much more logical reason. The engineers and scientists responsible for developing Alexa decided that this was a good name because it included the letter X.

The X is a strong consonant, so when it comes to pronouncing it, the sound that is generated is loud and allows the speaker or devices compatible with Alexa to identify it better than other possible activation words.

That was the reason and origin of Alexa as the name for Amazon’s voice assistant. It could have been called in many other different ways, it is true, but the final choice was conditioned by that particularity when pronouncing it.

The problem with being called Alexa

Despite the good choice that those responsible for the development of Alexa made, at least that was the feeling they had, over time there were those who were not amused that a product with such success used the name of their daughter or their own.

In the UK to be more specific there are more than 4,000 people under 25 years of age that They are called Alexa. So, imagine the number of disparate situations they must have endured. Some parents even demanded a name change, because their daughters received constant jokes from colleagues who spoke and asked for things as if they were Amazon’s assistant.

For this reason, the company had introduced the possibility of using another name years before. So whoever wanted to could use another wake word instead of Alexa, like Amazon or Echo. A solution that was not satisfied in the same way, because most do not use these words and continue to resort to the one that is established by default: Alexa.

So the direct consequence was the reduction in the use of that name to call newborn girls in practically all countries.

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