Burger King Ad Creates Whopper of a Mess for Google Home

Richard Adhikari, E-Commerce Times, Apr 14, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is funny in a couple of ways. First, it's funny because the Burger King television spot succeeded in prompting Google Home to look up 'whopper burger' and read back the response to people. See also: "I love the little girl saying 'Alexa order me a dollhouse,' during a newscast." Oh course, this is not behaviour want from their audio interface, so Google needs to think about how to prevent random activations. But it's also funny because Burger King, in relying on Wikipedia for content, made it possible for people to insert their own content into the response. "Internet trolls struck minutes after the ad debuted... editing the Wikipedia entry to describe the burger variously as 'cancer-causing' or 'a chocolate candy'." The unfunny part isn't the damage caused to the companies involved, but rather, the increasing incursion of corporate media into private spaces.

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