One of the most fun Super Bowl commercials from Sunday night's game was a celebrity-studded ad for Amazon's Alexa. The premise of the ad was that Alexa lost her voice, and Amazon brought in celebrities to be back-up voices. It sounds like it'd be a cool idea at first, but the problem became immediately apparent when the first user tried to ask Alexa for a grilled cheese sandwich recipe, and the voice of Gordon Ramsay started howling at him from his Amazon Echo.
"Pathetic!" Ramsay shouted through the Echo. "You're 32 years of age and you don't know how to make a grilled cheese sandwich? It's name is the recipe!"
It was a really funny commercial — other voices included Cardi B, Rebel Wilson, and Anthony Hopkins at his most Hannibal Lecter — and it turns out the idea of having Gordon Ramsay voice Alexa was not just for the ad. Ramsay tweeted out that this is actually a real thing, and you can make an Amazon Echo critique your food in the voice of Gordon Ramsay.
I just tried it, and it works. If you say, "Alexa, enable Gordon Ramsay," you can then ask for Gordon Ramsay's opinions about things by saying something like, "Alexa, ask Gordon Ramsay what he thinks of this macaroni and cheese."
The opinions are never positive, of course. And it's worth noting that Ramsay uses a lot of grown-up language, so before enabling Gordon Ramsay, Alexa warns you that he counts as "mature content." So, you know, don't turn on Gordon Ramsay in front of the kids.
I asked Alexa to ask Gordon Ramsay what he thought of an apple, and the voice of Gordon Ramsay shouted, "Where's the switch? I'm shutting this whole kitchen down. Honestly, this dish is a joke."
Alexa appears to be able to keep this going for some time without ever repeating. I never realized just how many unique food insults Gordon Ramsay has made over the years. I wonder if Gordon Ramsay carries a notebook for keeping track of ideas for mean things to say about people's food, or if he just thinks them all up off-the-cuff, as the dish inspires him.
At the moment, Alexa can only use the Gordon Ramsay voice to insult people's cooking. She can't just adopt his voice for daily activities, unfortunately. Adding new Alexa voices would be a pretty great option someday. I would definitely sign up to have my Alexa sound like Idris Elba or Mary Berry.