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Alexa Can Now Prevent a Holiday Shouting Match

Credit: ABC7 San Francisco

Because nobody likes a holiday get-together spent arguing.

Family togetherness is supposed to be one of the best parts of the holidays. Unfortunately, when you put a bunch of parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents in the room together, sooner or later someone is going to bring up the noodle incident. That’s when the shouting starts, and all the kids retreat to their room to play video games. In order to head off these holiday scream-offs, Amazon has added a new feature to Alexa, specially for the holidays.

If you’ve got an Amazon Echo in the vicinity and your family starts going at it, just say Alexa’s new command: “Alexa, change the subject!” Alexa will quickly chime in with an innocuous conversation topic, which includes things like favorite foods, superpowers, whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie (it’s not), and more. The distraction functionality will also work on any Alexa compatible device, including smartphones and smart TVs. So if your aunt feels compelled to start bragging about her recent trip to Sydney, or mom starts asking why you didn’t marry a doctor, you’ve got at least one ally in your corner. Of course, whether anyone will actually heed Alexa’s distractions is another matter entirely, but it’s better than nothing.