File picture of an African grey parrot. Buddy the African grey ordered a set of gift bozes through online voice recognition technology
File picture of an African grey parrot. Buddy the African grey ordered a set of gift bozes through online voice recognition technology

Buddy the parrot mimics owner and orders online

By Daily Mail Time of article published Sep 21, 2017

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London - A pet owner was stunned after her parrot managed to shop online using Amazon's Alexa voice recognition software.
Corienne Pretorius, 39, was baffled after a £10 order for gift boxes arrived at her house.
She questioned her husband Jan, 45, a civil engineer, and son Jaden, eight, but quickly realised the culprit was Buddy - their African Grey parrot.
Pretorius, from Greenwich, south east London, says the cheeky bird mimics her voice, and must have activated her smart Amazon Echo device to place the strange order.
"On Sunday we had popped out of the house for a couple of hours, but when I came home, I could hear Buddy talking but couldn't quite make out what he was saying. Then I heard Alexa say 'sorry I didn't quite get that'. Buddy then said 'Alexa' and some gibberish, and she replied 'What is it you want to order?'
"I didn't hear what happened after that and didn't think anything of it until I was working on my computer and got a notification that my Amazon order had been placed. I hadn't ordered anything.

"I asked my husband and my son who didn't know what I was talking about so then I asked Alexa: 'What was my last order?' and she said it was these golden gift boxes. I laughed out loud because I knew then and there that it must have been Buddy."
Pretorius, who runs a cake decorating business, was given the £150 smart speaker by her father, who couldn't make it work.
The device allows users to connect to Amazon's shopping hub, and can also be used to control household utilities and order takeaways.
Pretorius, who is originally from South Africa, bought Buddy, four, on a whim in 2013, and says he has always mimicked her when she is out of the room.
She added: "Buddy talks a lot, but never when he can see me. If I'm in the room, he won't say anything because he's listening and then when I leave he talks in my voice. He is hilarious - we have a cat and he mimics the cat too, he's such an attention seeker."
"He is so much fun - every morning we wake up and he's such a joy to be around.
"He also swears in Afrikaans, which I didn't realise I did until I heard him doing it too."
An Amazon spokesman said customers using Alexa are asked to confirm a purchase by saying yes.
He added: "You can also manage your shopping settings in the Alexa app, such as turning off voice purchasing or requiring a confirmation code before every order.
"Additionally, orders placed with Alexa for physical products are eligible for free returns." - Daily Mail

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