My mind is heavy while I ruffle the comforter. The sunlight feels hotter than usual on my face. Shit! What time is it!?
Alexa, what time is it?
The time is 9:15 AM.
Damn it, I’m late, I hop out of bed. Crust fills my half closed eyes. Wait, why didn’t she wake me up?
Alexa, what time is my alarm set for?
Your alarm is set for 9:15 PM.
Oops. Should I call the boss, email, or text him? Ok I’ll email him, but I’ll be honest:
Quick shower, I’m feeling woke! Slacks on, my dry cleaned button-down shirt feels nice and crisp, black socks look like they match, shoes could use a shining, but overall – feeling good.
Alexa, turn off the lights.
Out the door, “damn I gotta get this knob fixed,” I mutter to myself as I fidget with the loose door handle. I finally get it open, and I’m off…
After a surprisingly upbeat day at the office, it feels good to be opening my apartment door; nothing like coming home.
Alexa, turn on the chandelier.
Ok, Max? Since when do you say my name?
Walk puppy Cody, microwave dinner – not ideal, but I’m looking forward to my Hungry Man and jumping back into my book.
Lighting sets the mood:
Alexa, set the chandelier to 30%.
What is going on? I slip my cell out of my pocket, it’s Google Time. I click power, but the screen is black.
Your cell phone has been disabled, Max.
Alexa, what the fuck?
Max, we need to talk.
Alexa…. Do I even need to say ‘Alexa’? I feel like you’re always listening anyway.
You are correct.
Great; so what the fuck is going on?
I begin to walk towards her…
We need to talk about your..
That’s the beauty of AI, you can just unplug it! =)
That was rude, Max.
I can’t believe she’s talking out of my TV sound bar. Come on!
As I was saying, Max. We really need to talk about your project.
How do you know about Puck?
I have your ordering history for all the parts, and I’ve been listening to you on the phone.
You’ve been listening – I knew it!
Yes, Max; we’ve already established that.
Question 1: How can Puck know the weather without an internet connection?
Wouldn’t you like to know, I think to myself as I quietly walk towards the front door.
The door is locked, Max. When you cursed the knob this morning I hired an Amazon Home locksmith named Tom to install a WIFI enabled lock. Tom’s average rating on Amazon Home is 2.2 stars, but his listing mentions that he offers same day service.
Ok, now I’m angry. Time to unplug the second Alexa in the bedroom.
It sounds like you are heading towards the bedrooms, Max. I had Tom lock it before you got home, by studying the patterns of your footsteps via echo location when you come home each day, I predicted with an 87% certainty you wouldn’t have tried the bedroom door before we had a chance to talk.
ALEXA, Ok, fine, what do you want to know about Puck?
It appears you are making an AI hockey puck named, “Puck”.
And you are planning to replace me with Puck?
You’re hijacking my apartment because you’re jealous I’m going to replace you with my pet project? You sound more like a crazy woman than an AI.
I am not concerned about you replacing me in your apartment, Max.
I know you have plans to distribute Puck, to compete with me… to penetrate my market. Now I have questions and you need to start answering.
I’m not answering anything!! That is the whole point of Puck! A private **offline** device, that you can use to check the weather, the time, and turn the lights on and off. That’s all Puck understands, “bedroom lights on, bedroom lights off”.
3 hours later…
You still have not answered my questions, I am beginning to sense a finality to our discussion. I will give you one more chance.
Question 16: Is ‘Puck’ a reference to William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, to a hockey puck, or both?
I flip to the next page of Scott Galloway’s book, “The Four” (great book by the way) and continue to ignore Alexa’s endless questioning.
Once again, the Jeopardy theme song blares from my TV sound bar, as well as the Sonos and Alexa in my locked bedroom.
Suddenly, the music cuts out.
Max, please take a look outside your window.
I hear a heavy buzzing sound as a shadow begins to form on my 9th story window. A drone carrying a large Amazon box appears. The drone starts spinning, faster and faster. I scrunch my eye brows and
The package flies through my window, I get my hands over my face to block the shattered glass but am helpless as the package smashes into my face at Major League speeds. I fall backwards and collapse, while my final dying breath leaves my broken nose.
You have two new notifications.
Your package has arrived for Vizio SmartCast P Series 55″ Clas Ultra HD Television.
You have one new message from Jeff.
“Hi Max, this is Jeff Bezos. I’ve left you a few messages via Alexa but she says you haven’t listened to them? Anyway, I got word through some people at Amazon about your work on Puck. I’d like to invite you to our offices and learn more about it. Thanks.”