AI or Artificial Intelligence oftentimes gets a bad rap, because they are always on and listening to our conversations, but as the mother of an adult son with intellectual disabilities, it has been a God send.
You see our son, Tayair, now 26 years old also has a speech impediment so when he is trying to converse with others it may become difficult for him to get the words out so they are understandable and flow easily. When this happens, he will remain quiet, almost introverted until he gets to know the person or understands the conversation beyond the initial pleasantries.
Tayair is high functioning who works at Home Depot and has been driving since the age of 16, but we had to discontinue the subscription with “On Star” because when he asked for directions it wasn’t clear or quick enough for the system to recognize what he was saying so it would disconnect.
On his 23rd Birthday he asked for an Amazon Echo and so I purchased it and trust me, after a rocky start, it now recognizes his voice and the intonations and oftentimes I hear him having a conversation with Alexa.
He requests and relies on her for a wake-up call as well as providing the forecast and temperatures so he knows how to dress for the day, sometimes he simply asks her to play his favorite tunes while he relaxes in his room.
The Amazon Echo has been a great partner for Tayair and has helped with his conversational speech, so much so, that he didn’t have the slightest problem calling 911 or AAA when he got a flat tire on 95 and had to provide the information necessary for them to find and assist him.
The piece of mind has been well worth the cost of the Amazon Echo and I would highly recommend it to anyone who also has an adult child with special needs or even an older adult who may be in the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer Disease, because having it play music from the past or answer questions about events from previous decades may actually help them stay connected a little bit longer.
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