(Bloomberg) -- Amazon's Echo has made tangible the promise of an artificially intelligent personal assistant in every home. Those who own the voice-activated gadget (known colloquially as Alexa, after its female interlocutor) are prone to proselytizing "her" charms, applauding Alexa's ability to call an Uber, order pizza or check a 10th-grader's math homework. The company says more than 5,000 people a day profess their love for Alexa.

On the other hand, Alexa devotees also know that unless you speak to her very clearly . . . and . . . slowly, she's likely to say: Sorry, I don't have the answer to that question. "I love her. I hate her, I love her," one customer wrote on Amazon's website, while still awarding Alexa five stars. "You will very quickly learn how to talk to her in a way that she will understand and it's not unlike speaking to a small frustrating toddler."

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