Smokey knows Alexa, but Alexa doesn't know what a cat is
I mentioned a few weeks ago that our furnace blew out and we had to get it replaced. So I bought a new thermostat that does humidity and temperature control. It also comes with Alexa built in, so I bought a couple of Echo Dots to place in other rooms. The house has been automated for 20 years, but I've never had a desire to talk to it, although it does make announcements. Must be an age thing.
I was looking at installing the thermostat yesterday, but when they installed the original thermostat 20 years ago they just punched out the drywall with a screwdriver, which made a mess of the sheet-rock behind the paper. This was not a problem for the Honeywell smart thermostat, but the ecobee has a smaller mounting footprint. This will require me to repair the drywall, a job for warmer weather and when I don't have the Flu from Hell.
When they installed the furnace, they left without getting the new humidifier going, as they claimed the old switch did not work. They made a note to come back and fix it, but I knew I would never see them again. So I went to investigate the humidifier wiring for the new controller and I discovered why it wasn't working, they had neglected to connect the power connection to the furnace control board; the one labelled humidifier. I also discovered that they had sliced through one of the security camera wires when the cut out the old exhaust vent. Later, when I was putting the old thermostat back, I stepped on a marble chip on the floor. They chipped the marble floor and neglected to mention it. They also ruined the paint job on the basement stairway; nothing a little Spackle and paint won't fix.
So I have been playing with Alexa to see what it knows and how to best use it. I have replaced my Alarm clock as the AM radio reception is crap; I now wake to my radio station with crystal clear sound. Of course it does all of the usual Google type stuff, but it wouldn't help me cheat on my Anagrams.. I said 'Good Night' and it said 'Good Night and sleep tight. She didn't quite finish my childhood bedtime saying, so I said 'Alexa don't let the bed bugs bite. I was expecting WTF, but she said 'Thank You, Good Night and pleasant dreams'. I've also been integrating Alexa with the house computer to control the lights and announcements, but that's the boring stuff.
Last night I thought I'd try a new AI challenge so I said 'Alexa, Smokey says Good Night', that did not compute. Not surprised at this. So I tried something easier, 'Alexa, Smokey is a cat', that did not compute either. I can assure you that Smokey is aware of Alexa and she also wakes me up at alarm time, no programming required.