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‘Alexa, tell me a Pride fact’: Amazon’s virtual assistant is briefed on LGBT history

Ella Braidwood June 5, 2018

Amazon's Alexa. (www.quotecatalog.com/Amazon)

Amazon’s smart speaker Alexa has been given a new set of facts on LGBTQ history in celebration of Pride month in the US.

The electronic helper has been installed with more than 90 facts relating to queer history, politics, arts, and entertainment.

Alexa owners can access the new information by asking their drive: “Alexa, tell me a Pride fact.”

The virtual assistant’s new LGBTQ skill set is the result of a partnership between Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Amazon’s employee LGBTQ group, called Glamazon.

“The partnership is an exciting opportunity to celebrate Pride, honor our LGBTQ history and remember that despite all the recent gains we’ve made, there is still a ways to go on the road to full equality for LGBTQ people,” said the HRC.

“This project also helps those who may not be able to attend a Pride celebration in person by bringing Pride to them.”

california pride parade
Pride in San Francisco.

Facts cover topics including the first LGBTQ Pride flag – unveiled in 1978 – to the number of countries where same-sex marriage is legal, and the first openly transgender person to present at the Oscars, actor Daniela Vega.

Alexa will also talk about HRC’s role supporting National Coming Out Day, and its annual Time to THRIVE Conference, where Ellen Page came out in 2014.

In April, Amazon added 60 titles to its LGBTQ media selection, following a partnership with Outfest.

Alexa will talk about actor Daniela Vega. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

 

Other companies have also celebrated Pride month in the US with new features.

Facebook and Instagram have launched new rainbow-inspired settings, which are available all year. 

Meanwhile, Apple has launched a new Pride watch face to mark the month. 

And clothing companies have announced the launch of new lines specifically to celebrate Pride month.

Last month, fashion retailer H&M revealed it would be releasing its first ever Pride collection of clothes and accessories. 

The collection, which is inspired by the 70’s, will feature a range of items including t-shirts, crop tops, jeans, shorts, hoodies and accessories that feature rainbows and pro-LGBT phrases.

Also in May, discount clothing chain Primark said it would sell Pride merchandise in its stores.

The cut-priced clothing company announced that it would bring Pride merch to select stores across Europe and the US as part of a partnership with British LGBT charity Stonewall.

Under the deal, Stonewall will receive 20 percent of the proceeds of the rainbow-branded range, which is hitting individual stores to coincide with Pride events this summer.

But the new clothing was came under fire after it was revealed that some of the merchandise was being made in countries where it’s illegal to be gay. 

More: Alexa, Amazon, Pride, tech

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