Amazon’s disconcerting Super Bowl ad makes real people respond to questions we’d ask Alexa

Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge

Amazon released its Super Bowl commercial this week, and it’s a weird one. The company’s Super Bowl commercials have historically been a little offbeat, but the best word I can use to describe this year’s is disconcerting.

It starts with Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi preparing to go out somewhere, and DeGeneres turns to an Echo Dot and asks Alexa to turn down the thermostat before they leave. DeGeneres then wonders aloud, “What do you think people did before Alexa?”

That leads into a rather strange montage of historical situations where actual humans (whose names start with the letters A and L) respond to questions or obey commands that are similar to things you’d ask Alexa to do.

In one…

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