Amazon's digital assistant Alexa took a day off on Christmas and many users particularly in the UK were not amused.
Alexa Crashed On Christmas Day
Thousands of people across Europe complained having trouble with the assistant. Users say they could not play Christmas songs, get cooking instructions for their holiday dinner, or turn on the lights because Alexa could not understand their commands.
Alexa apparently crashed on the holiday. Servers that control the virtual assistant were overloaded with requests and questions the digital butler could not just keep up.
The digital assistant works by sending voice commands via an Amazon echo device to a server which is then interpreted by a computer. The instructions go back to the Echo device and the gadget would then execute the command such as play music, perform tasks such as turning the lights on, and read the weather.
Alexa crashed around 10 a.m. in the UK and users turned to social media to vent out their frustrations.
@amazonecho Alexa isn’t happy this morning. Tried the good old turn it off, turn it on again trick but no luck. I’ll have to talk to my family instead. #alexa #amazon #amazonecho #echonotworking. pic.twitter.com/Bm0h1xLboY — Paul Foster (@fozrobin) December 25, 2018
Got 2 very disappointed kids this morning that they can't use their new alexas. What's going on? @amazon @AmazonUK @AmazonHelp #alexa @awscloud #AmazonEcho #amazondot — leanne jones (@leannej76360662) December 25, 2018
After about two hours, Amazon’s customer service account acknowledged the problem and tweeted that the “intermittent connection” has been fixed. It also noted that the issues were isolated to Europe. The issue has since been resolved.
"For a short period [on Tuesday] morning we had an issue that intermittently impacted some Alexa customers’ ability to interact with the service. The Alexa service is now operating normally,” an Amazon spokesperson said.
Surge Of New Users
Amazon did not say what caused the mass breakdown but Amazon’s servers were likely overburdened due to the number of users trying to register their new devices they received as Christmas gift.
The Alexa app landed on the top spot of the App Store and Google Play on Christmas, which suggests there was a large number of first-time Echo owners setting up their new devices on Christmas day.