Think about what life was like in the 1990s. Most of us didn’t have navigation systems in our cars. We traveled without any phone or communication devices and we had to stop and ask someone for directions when we couldn’t find that new restaurant downtown. We called people from landline cordless phones and pagers were considered high tech. Now, here we are 20 to 25 years later, with gigabytes of computing power in our phones and virtual assistants like Alexa in our homes. Have you ever asked Alexa a question and the answer blew you away or made you feel downright dumb? If so, don’t feel too bad — Alexa is not only a virtual assistant, it is is also a talking encyclopedia, a jokester, a calculator, a musician, and even a therapist.
Here are some questions with Alexa answers that will educate you just in time for that cocktail party you’re attending. Be ready to impress everyone you meet!
1. Alexa, what is 1,239,999,999 divided by 252,336?
Who needs to watch the movie Rain Man when you’ve got Alexa? To this question, Alexa answers “1.24 billion divided by 252,336 is 4931.25535001.” When you ask Alexa a long-division problem like this, she will not only provide an answer instantly, she will also round the dividend to help her reach the quotient more quickly and easily.
Most of us don’t have the capability to answer a long-division problem in less than a second. In fact, many people kind of suck at math. A survey by Change the Equation found that three in 10 people say they’re not good at math, and six in 10 Americans say they’ve had difficulty doing some type of math.
2. Alexa, does 10 + 10 = 22?
Alexa answers “the sum of 10 plus 10 equals 20.” If you get the answer to a simple addition problem wrong, Alexa will actually correct you.
3. Alexa, what is the smartest animal on earth?
Alexa answers “the smartest animal is a chimpanzee.” Now, you may be thinking: Wait a minute, aren’t humans smarter animals than chimpanzees? Thanks a lot, Alexa.
To find out if Alexa was trying to insult us, or if she really thinks chimpanzees are smarter than humans, we then asked: “Alexa, are humans animals?” Alexa answers, “No, a person is not a non-human animal.” With the double negatives and the whole “chimps are superior” thing, maybe she’s trying to make us feel dumb.
4. Alexa, who was the 13th president of the United States?
Alexa answers, “the 13th US President was Millard Fillmore.”
Who the hell is Millard Fillmore? With the exception of the most notable names in history, a lot of people are unable to remember presidents of the past. A Washington University Study found that about 70 percent of people think Alexander Hamilton was a president (hint: he wasn’t). Also, people recognize names like Franklin Pierce and Chester Arthur less than 60 percent of the time. Alexa, however, seems to know more about presidents and other historical facts than the average person.
5. Alexa, how do you spell mononucleosis?
Alexa answers, “Mononucleosis is spelled: M.O.N.O.N.U.C.L.E.O.S.I.S.” Yeah, Alexa is probably going to beat you at a spelling bee. Don’t try spelling out this word at that cocktail party, though, especially if you’re trying to date the person you’re talking to.
6. Alexa, what is the cloud?
Alexa answers, “the cloud is anything on the internet, rather than being handled on your own device.” We see so many long and complicated definitions and explanations about what the cloud really is. Alexa’s definition is so clear and concise — why can’t humans explain things that easily?
7. Alexa, what is love? Alexa, am I in love?
Alexa answers, “the Dalai Lama once said love is the absence of judgment. If you are in love, you’ll know it.” Wow, thanks Alexa. That may just be the most logical relationship advice we’ve ever heard.