Blame Amazon Echo: Alexa Now A Less Popular Baby Name


The number of newborn girls named Alexa has plunged since Amazon's introduction of its voice-activated smart speaker Echo in 2015.

Fewer Parents Naming Their Newborns 'Alexa'

According to Social Security data, fewer parents are interested in naming their daughters after a voice assistant, thanks to Amazon Echo. Since 2015, when Amazon launched the Echo smart speaker that responds to the wake-up command "Alexa," it has become a less popular name among parents.

According to statistics from the Social Security Administration that was analyzed by Philip Cohen, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland, the name peaked in popularity in 2015 with 6,050 baby girls named Alexa. However, 2017 saw a 33 percent decline in the number, with only 3,883 baby girls' name registered as Alexa.

Amazon launched a series of Alexa-enabled products after Echo, such as the Echo Tap, Echo Dot, Echo Show, Fire TV Stick with Alexa, and Fire Tablets with Alexa. In this day and age, where more and more people are controlling their televisions, lights, and even cars with Alexa, parents are less inclined to use the same name for their newborn girls.

"You have to feel for people who named their daughters Alexa, and the Alexas themselves, before Amazon sullied their names. Did they not think of the consequences for these people?" Cohen said, summarizing the decline.

A Similar Trend With Siri

Meanwhile, Apple's virtual assistant, Siri, which was introduced in 2011, also had a similar impact on baby girl names as Amazon's Alexa. However, the number of newborns who were named Siri was pretty much lower.

In 2009, when the name had reached its peak, a total of 120 baby girls were named Siri in the United States, which is about six per 100,000. However, that number tumbled to 20 in 2017, a whopping 83 percent decline, or about one per every 100,000 girls.

How Jeff Bezos Came Up With Name 'Alexa' For Amazon Echo?

In a 2016 interview, Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, revealed that the wake-up command for the voice-controlled AI assistant was inspired by Star Trek.  

Bezos said when he was in the fourth grade, he and his friends pretended to be characters from Star Trek. The talking computer from the epic sci-fi space franchise, which was also being activated by the command "Alexa," is what led Bezos to choose the wake-up word for Amazon's voice-controlled smart speaker system.

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