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Things We Wish Alexa Could Do

In case you weren’t aware, Amazon’s Alexa is a huge Penn State fan. There’s also an open-source GitHub project that will soon enable Jeff Bezos’ AI brainchild to answer all of your questions about on-campus dining menus.  All of this Blue and White software got us thinking: What else could Alexa do to make our lives at Penn State easier? For all of our fellow students who know that the struggle is real, here is our wish list.

Replace office hours.

This one’s for all of you who have questions on an assignment that you waited until the very last minute to start, or you just find meeting face to face with your professor awkward. Imagine if Alexa could make office hours obsolete by answering any question you have on any subject on demand. I’m sure professors wouldn’t mind this either. Gone will be the days of having to reiterate the fact that the answers to all of our dumb questions are in the syllabus anyway.

Mute all Eagles fans.

This one is for all of my fellow bitter Steelers fans and fans of all other teams who are sick of hearing about the Eagles. If we could just ask Amazon to mute my our roommates and the people in my our buildings who like to yell “S’go Birds” out of their windows at ungodly hours of the night, then all of our problems would be solved. Our permanent headaches will be cured, and we’ll all sleep much better.

Actually get us out of bed.

Speaking of sleep, it’s amazing…perhaps too amazing. As such, getting out of bed in the morning is a real struggle. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I have a full-fledged addiction to hitting the snooze button, which is why we need Amazon Alexa to come up with an alarm system that actually gets us out of bed. Even if it just calls a SWAT team to barge down the door every morning, as long as it actually gets us moving in the morning. Imagine the possibilities — the productivity.

Prevent procrastination.

Now that Alexa has us moving, it would be great if the AI could help us with our time management as well. Any time it catches us taking stupid Buzzfeed quizzes or scrolling the Twitter timeline when we’re supposed to be studying, it makes a super annoying noise repeatedly until we get back on track. Ahh, good ol’ operant conditioning — the same idea behind the noise your car makes to get you to put on your seatbelt. Maybe Alexa could yell “S’go birds” or “Fly Eagles Fly.” That sure would get me to focus on my work.

Track the CATA buses.

CATA already blessed us with a new app that definitely doesn’t suck, but now let’s take it one step further with Amazon Alexa compatibility. That way, we can catch the whoop without having to lift a finger. Come on, coding gurus, take to GitHub and make our wish come true.

Help us skip the line at the HUB.

“Alexa, when will the Starbucks line only take 20 minutes instead of three hours?” That is all.

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About the Author

Anthony Fiset

Anthony is a junior majoring in Economics. He, like many others, is from right outside of Philly, and by right outside of Philly, he means Pittsburgh. His only source of pride is being a lifetime Costco Executive Member. You can call him, beep him if you wanna reach him at [email protected], or follow him on Twitter @antnyfst.

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