Why Amazon's Alexa Is Going to the Moon (Literally)

Why Amazon’s Alexa Is Going to the Moon (Literally)

Amazon Alexa in space? But why? It’s more interesting and relevant than it first seems…


White Alexa device with Amazon logo.

Amazon and Lockheed Martin are teaming up to send Alexa into space. The AI assistant will take part in NASA’s Artemis 1 mission, which involves a trip around the moon. Alexa will integrate into NASA’s Orion spacecraft during the upcoming lunar excursion, the first of many aiming to land actual people on the moon’s surface eventually.

You may be asking the question: why bother sending an AI assistant into space? Let’s discuss Alexa’s role in the upcoming NASA mission in more detail.

Why Is Amazon Sending Alexa Into Space?

Artemis 1 will be an uncrewed test flight that aims to trial technology that could become an important part of future missions. Amazon hopes Alexa will prove herself worthy and that AI will become an integral part of space exploration, providing astronauts with assistance, information, and companionship.

If you’re worried that Alexa will be lonely out there without a crew, you need not be concerned. Mission control will have remote access to the AI assistant, and NASA plans to simulate interactions with Alexa to test her out and determine her usefulness. Being able to utilize Alexa’s many voice commands will no doubt make astronauts’ lives easier.

Related: How Alexa Works: The Science Behind Amazon’s Digital Assistant

While Amazon sending Alexa into space could be a publicity stunt, seeing the results of NASA’s simulations will be interesting. AI will eventually invade every aspect of our existence, so sending it to the moon shouldn’t come as a shock. Whatever the motivation, Alexa’s involvement in the mission implies superiority over other AI assistants, and that’s powerful marketing.

MAKEUSEOF VIDEO OF THE DAY

Well played, Amazon.

Should We Send AI to the Moon?

While we’ve been so preoccupied with whether or not we could send Alexa to the moon, we never stopped to think if we should. Every AI assistant we shoot into space brings us one step closer to a 2001: A Space Odyssey situation where the robot goes rogue and tries to murder us all.

But Alexa’s cool, so we should be safe for now. And when Amazon starts delivering to space, she’ll be there to notify astronauts when their packages arrive.


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