“Alexa, can I get a toothbrush?”
At the mention of Amazon’s digital assistant, the light ring on the white Echo Plus sitting on the end table lights up, then blinks for a second after the question is asked. Ordinarily, if you made that query to the Echo in your home, Alexa would respond by simply adding a toothbrush to your shopping list.
But I’m not in my home, and this isn’t your ordinary Alexa. I’m sitting in a suite on the 17th floor of the Brooklyn Marriott, and the person bugging Alexa about his dental-hygiene needs is Daniel Rausch, vice president of smart home for Amazon.