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Tell us how your family uses Alexa

Tell us how your family uses Alexa

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Amazon hasn’t figured out how to get customers to buy things with Alexa, its digital assistant, which is largely a bummer for the company. But while Alexa has underperformed as a product for Amazon, we want to know how it performs for the people who really matter: us.

If you’ve purchased a smart speaker or display powered by a voice-activated digital assistant like Alexa, we’d love to hear from you. Does your family still use it, and if so, how?

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I am an editor in the technical office of the New York Times and I have two boys, 6 and 8 years old. In some families with young children like mine, voice assistants are extremely useful. My first grade student asks Alexa about the weather before getting dressed in the morning. He and his brother use it to check their math, play problem-solving games, and control the music playing in our house.

They’re too young for phones, so Alexa gives them access to the digital world — and without the nasty stuff like online predators.

During dinner, when my boys ask me something that I can’t answer, I don’t bring my phone to the table to Google. We ask Alexa. I help them perfect how to ask the question to get the right result, somewhat similar I imagine to how previous generations of parents taught their children to use reference books.

I’m curious how other families experience voice assistants. Tell us what you were surprised to hear your kids ask Alexa or have them do. If you’ve discovered any awesome life or parenting hacks, we want to hear about them too.

We’re also curious if you’re using the Assistant in ways Amazon had hoped, like shopping online with it. Or if it led you to sign up for one of the company’s subscription services, like Prime or Audible. Or maybe you found it wasteful – and scary.

We plan to publish a selection of the answers in an upcoming article on the ways families use (and don’t) use digital assistants. We will not publish any part of your submission without first contacting you. We may use your contact information to follow up with you.

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