Alex and Alexa — it’s a match made in geek heaven.
Amazon’s recent sponsorship of the popular television quiz show “Jeopardy” comes with some prime-time product placement for the tech giant, as longtime host Alex Trebek has been turning to Alexa, the omnipresent voice assistant, for his own assistance.
Before presenting a Final Jeopardy clue about Russian composers on Wednesday night’s episode, Trebek was joined at his podium by an Echo smart speaker. TrebEcho, anyone?
But rather than have Alexa play alongside the smartypants contestants, “Jeopardy” turned to artificial intelligence to turn down the stage lights.
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“All right, Alexa, dim the lights,” Trebek said.
“OK,” Alexa answered, with all the personality of a robot on a game show.
The stage lights did dim and the show’s iconic theme music kicked in. Trebek — a five-time Emmy winner and member of the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame — just stared off blankly, perhaps pondering after decades in the business whether a ‘bot with answers to questions could replace him as the guy with questions to answers.
It’s not the first time Alex and Alexa have teamed. Amazon smart speaker owners can hear Trebek’s voice and play a game hosted by A.I. by saying, “Alexa, start Jeopardy.” The skill was introduced more than three years ago.
As far as getting in on the ad game with others who target the hit show, it figures into Amazon’s hefty spending of late. Marketing expenses have already nearly topped $8 billion this year, surpassing the $5.6 billion spent in all of 2018.