TECH
21/09/2018 12:21 BST | Updated 24/09/2018 14:58 BST

Amazon Alexa Hunches Wants To Know What You're Thinking Before You Do

You'll either find this incredibly useful or incredibly disturbing.

Amazon has just unveiled a brand-new feature coming to Alexa that will either sound incredibly creepy or incredibly useful.

It’s called Alexa Hunches and it effectively trains the voice assistant to guess what you’re thinking before you’ve even thought it.

With more and more devices now becoming Alexa-enabled, the idea is that Alexa learns your daily routine and then if it notices any discrepancies will help remind you of things you’ve forgotten to do.

One example is that if you have a TV plugged into an Alexa-enabled plug it will learn when you turn the TV on and off. If you forget to turn it off before leaving the house Alexa might warn you before you’ve even walked about the front door.

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Another example could be that it reminds you to turn the lights off before you go to bed, or turn them on if you’ve gone on holiday.

Ultimately Hunches is based entirely on Alexa knowing your every move and then using that to create a digital profile of your daily routine. If it notices anythings amiss or different, it’ll then use deep neural networks (computers that are loosely based on brains) to try and predict why you’ve done something differently.

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As we said at the start, all of this is either going to sound incredibly useful or incredibly creepy.

Either way the only way it can truly work is if literally everything you have is in some way Alexa-enabled. To help that cause Amazon also unveiled a whole family of new Alexa speakers and accessories to help put the voice assistant in your home and even your car.

Hunches will start rolling out in the UK over the next few months. It’s also not clear if it’s an opt-in or opt-out feature.

Here’s a rundown of what Amazon unveiled at its special event:

Amazon Echo Show

A new and improved version of Amazon’s touchscreen-based speaker. It now has a larger 10-inch display and a design that looks less like it was made for a 90s spaceship. There’s a bigger speaker and it can now automatically talk to all your Alexa-enabled devices in the home. £219.99

Amazon Echo Plus

Updated with a new fabric design, this premium version of the Echo comes with bigger room-filling sound and the ability to act as a smart hub for all your Alexa-enabled devices in your home. £139.99

Amazon Echo Dot

Amazon’s smallest speaker is now a lot louder and just like the Plus has been updated with a new fabric design. Designed for voice requests only the Echo Dot is Amazon’s cheapest speaker. £49.99

Amazon Echo Input

This little accessory lets you turn any normal speaker into an Alexa-enabled speaker simply by popping it on top and plugging it in. Essentially if you’ve got an amazing pair of old speakers and don’t want to get rid of them, this little black puck is for you. £34.99

Amazon Smart Plug

Can’t be bothered to turn get up and turn on the kettle? Plug it into this, flick the switch down before bed and all you have to do in the morning is tell Alexa to turn on the kettle. Of course it comes at the cost of Amazon knowing exactly how much tea you drink. £24.99

Amazon Essentials Microwave with Alexa

That’s right, Amazon has made a microwave that can be controlled with Alexa. We’re not really sure why you would want to control a microwave with your voice when you’ll actually be at the controls anyway when you put the food in. No word on when it’s coming to the UK but consider it just a matter of time. £TBC

Amazon Essentials Clock with Alexa

In continuing this odd trend Amazon is also making a cheap physical wall clock that can also be controlled using Alexa. It has a ring of LED lights surrounding the face which can show timers you’ve set for things like food. Again, no word on a UK release date or price. £TBC