If in case you have seen Us, you in all probability keep in mind “Ophelia,” the Amazon Alexa-like voice assistant that performs a key position in one of many movie’s most darkly humorous scenes. Ophelia is good at enjoying music, however not nice at deciphering instructions — which turns into an issue when a personality frantically tells Ophelia to name the police, solely to find that Ophelia has misheard an order to play N.W.A.’s “Fuck Tha Police” as a substitute.
The Ophelia speaker helps set up its homeowners, the principally unsympathetic Tylers, as a yuppie household with a penchant for ineffective excessive-tech toys. In Us, the joke is that Ophelia can’t perceive the Tylers’ requests or the truth that they’re preventing for his or her lives in opposition to a gaggle of doppelgängers. If it labored just like the Echo or Google Home, although, Ophelia would have been ineffective even when it understood the request completely. The most sensible audio system can’t name the police, and there’s been an extended debate over whether or not they need to.
Sensible audio system — even ones that permit folks to make phone calls — usually don’t assist emergency or 911 calling for technical and regulatory causes. Gadgets like Alexa and Google House don’t provide the same location particulars as a cell or landline telephone, making it tougher to route and reply to emergency calls. Besides, they usually don’t have their very own callback numbers, and their producers don’t pay the month-to-month 911 surcharge that’s tacked onto atypical phone payments.
There’s significant promise in a system that lets individuals dial emergency numbers after they can’t attain a cellphone — particularly for folks with mobility points. However including 911 service would require clearing some FCC hurdles, and the Journal wrote that spotty web service might make the service unreliable. Most individuals have already got phones, and in lots of cases, they’re higher off utilizing a system that’s identified to work than experimenting with one thing new.