Alexa trivia during lockdown

Navigating the lockdown with Alexa

Dipa Balakrishnan, Senior Manager for Alexa Experience & Engagement, Amazon India, tells us how during the lockdown, Alexa kept pace as more customers turned to their favorite AI to stay on track, start new hobbies and seek entertainment at home.
on 24 July 2020
Undeniably, the COVID-19 lockdown has changed our lives. We are spending more time at home and remotely managing our professional lives. Lines between work, play and home have blurred as we settled down. Our WFH routines became the new normal. As a trusted companion, Alexa kept pace as more customers turned to their favorite AI to stay on track, start new hobbies and seek entertainment at home.
  1. Productivity gains with Alexa

    The first few weeks of the lockdown began with endless calls and meetings. Our good old ‘water cooler conversations’ that provided welcome breaks at office were replaced with new Alexa reminders to “drink water”. As of last week, Alexa reminded customers to drink water or take medication every 2 minutes. Requests for workout music increased 3x as we all started fitness routines from home. The ‘7-minute workout’ skill gained more popularity in March. Customers put all the hours saved from office commute to good use and updated their linguistic skills. Usage of foreign language learning skills increased by 15%, the most popular being French, Spanish and Japanese.
  2. Family time, fun time

    With children also home, many of us had to add parenting to the list of work-day priorities. We all have anecdotes of children joining video calls. Personally, one memorable call involved my toddler waving to a colleague’s daughter even as we kept up with our serious discussion. Alexa partnered with parents to both educate and entertain. She even kept the little ones busy. One in five customers engaged with educational skills like ‘Word of the Day’, ‘1-2-3 Math’ and ‘Pearson Mypedia’. Of course, Alexa played more games with the family as well. Games like ‘Song Quiz’, ‘Fact or Fib’, ‘Snakes & Ladders’ witnessed nearly a 4x increase in usage. Nursery rhymes, which are always popular among kids received a 3x spike in engagement.
  3. Alexa’s tryst with history

    As India tuned in to the Ramayan and the Mahabharata on TV, Alexa brushed up her mythology. She answered trivia questions like, “Alexa, who is Jatayu’s brother?”, “Alexa who were the sons of Ravana”, even as Alexa skills like ‘Stories from Mahabharata’ and ‘Ramayan Katha’ gained popularity in March & April. With the newly launched Audible Suno skill in June, we can now listen to Mahabharata with Devdutt Pattanaik.
  4. Love in the times of corona

    Alexa got one step closer to understanding the human emotion of love. Requests for love Shayaris, the works of Mirza Ghalib and much more poured in at least once every four minutes with queries such as "Alexa, Shayari sunao". Rekhta.org, one of the largest repositories of Urdu poetry and literature, responded to users with a lot of love via its Alexa skill. With nearly thousands of conversations every minute, Alexa clearly has her fair share of admirers. At a time when most relationships are tested, Alexa received a ton of proposals. Nearly every minute, there was one customer asking, “Alexa, mujhse shaadi karogi?” or “Alexa, I love you” - true love in the times of Corona.
To see and hear what makes customers love Alexa, just try some of these utterances today on your Echo smart speaker, Alexa Built-in devices or the Amazon Shopping app on Android phones:

1. “Alexa, start a seven-minute workout”
2. “Alexa, help me learn English”
3. “Alexa, play Magic Door”
4. “Alexa, open ChuChuTV”
5. “Alexa, open Amazon Story Time”
6. “Alexa, play Simon Says”
7. “Alexa, ek Shayari sunao”
8. “Alexa, I am bored”
9. “Alexa, what can I watch on Prime Video”
10. “Alexa, surprise me”
About the Author
Dipa Balakrishnan, is the Senior Manager for Alexa Experience & Engagement, Amazon India. An avid reader who loves words as much as numbers, Dipa enjoys learning about how technology is changing daily life and livelihoods. Currently, exploring the world along with her nearly two-year old and Alexa.
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