Should we be saying Please & Thank You to Alexa?
For nearly a year now I have been asking my children to say please and thank you when asking Alexa questions, and I think I am wrong to do this.
After much Google-ing, I discovered research and articles highlighting a concern that the next generation is maybe becoming rude by not engaging in human conversational etiquette with voice assistants, with 42% of 9–16-year-olds having accessed voice recognition “gadgets” at home. There seems to be no research that proves this assumption to be true, regardless of what the media is saying (Happy to be proven wrong if anyone has any research?).
Should we be polite to our voice assistants?
Fast forward to 2050 when our robot overlords are deciding our human fate, we may look back to the early 2000s and think, maybe we should have been a bit nicer to that speaker in the kitchen playing music.
Is the English language, the problem?
In the UK, please, thank you, excuse me, even a sorry to the person who walks into you, is all commonplace amongst adults. Though other cultures this is not the case, with particular languages not finding command based requests rude, some languages do not even have a word for, please.
I monitored my behaviour over a few weeks and found that current voice assistants got me the answer I wanted when I communicated in a more command-based way. I do not believe it made me any ruder for it; I do not type into Google:
Please, can you tell me when the Red Lion Pub on St. Paul’s Street is open until this evening, thank you.
red lion pub st. pauls open times