The latest feature added to the virtual assistant will allow it to speak using the voice of the dead, which is eerily reminiscent of the first episode of the second season of the British sci-fi drama.
In the “Be Right Back” episode, which aired in 2013, a character is shown becoming friends with an android that is built to copy the behaviour of her dead partner.
While the update has yet to be released – the tool was demonstrated as part of a concept by Amazon, though it does seem to actually be real and available to Amazon itself – fans on Twitter have reacted to the news in horror.
“Black Mirror is supposed to be a warning, not a pitch,” one fan wrote.
Another echoed: “Black Mirror literally did an entire episode about why this is a terrible idea.”
Someone else tweeted: “Not quite the Black Mirror promotional event I was expecting.”
“Wake up babe new Black Mirror episode dropped,” one person joked.
The feature requires only a minute of recorded audio to be fed into the system. Artificial intelligence can then use that recording to construct a whole voice, said Rohit Prasad, Amazon’s head scientist for Alexa AI, in an announcement.
Amazon noted that having Alexa speak that way would not “eliminate [the] pain of loss”. But it said it hoped that the new Alexa voices would “make their memories last”, pointing to the pandemic and the fact that “so many of us have lost someone we love”.
Black Mirror is available to stream on Netflix.