This Alexa skill has made me less confused and scared of my smart home assistant

Not sure why Alexa did that? Use this skill to find out why

An Echo Dot sitting on a table with a black background
(Image credit: Jonathan Borba / Pexels)

Has your Alexa ever given you a strange answer to your question? Or maybe it’s randomly spoken to you when you haven’t asked it anything? Then you need to try this Alexa Skill so you’re less confused (or scared!) of your smart home assistant.

Whether you use Alexa via your smart display or best smart speaker, it’s always incredibly handy to have a voice assistant at your beck and call. Rather than spending ages typing a question into your phone and scrolling through the links to find the right answer, Alexa quickly and (mostly) accurately will find the best answer for you. But sometimes she can get it a little wrong.

I’ve tested both the third generation of the Echo Show 8 and the Echo Hub, so I’m well acquainted with Alexa. When I stopped using Alexa for a few days when I was away for the weekend, I found it really strange to go without quickly shouting ‘Hey Alexa!’ when I had a query or needed something done.

But I’ve had it a couple times where I’ve been confused by Alexa. For example, I once asked Alexa to read out the steps for a pie recipe, only to get a weird response that had nothing to do with what I asked. In another instance, my Alexa said “I’m sorry I don’t understand” when I didn’t ask anything… which made me quickly turn it off from the wall and avoid it for a few days.

I’m sure many people have had these issues with Alexa or their other voice assistants, like Siri, Google Assistant or Bixby. But for Alexa users, I recently found a helpful skill that has helped me better understand Alexa’s behaviour and made me feel less confused about its behaviour overall.

Alexa pets

(Image credit: Amazon)

If Alexa ever responds in a way you don’t understand, simply say “Alexa, why did you do that?”. From there, Alexa will typically respond with “I thought I heard a question about” before asking if you’d like to hear what she heard. If you say yes, Alexa will repeat back what you said or what she thought she heard you say.

Not only does this help solve any confusion or irritation, but this skill also helps Alexa to improve its communication skills. At its product event last year, Amazon announced that it was working on making Alexa easier to communicate with. By integrating a new large-language-model (LLM) and upgrading Alexa with generative AI, these advancements make Alexa chattier and smarter.

This AI upgrade means Alexa can talk more realistically to its users in a smoother and less robotic tone, plus it makes the voice assistant more opinionated and conversational. So, if you’re ever confused by why your Alexa started to explain how to bake a cake when you asked for directions, this Alexa Skill can take the stress out of using your smart home assistant.

For more skills to try, take a look at these Alexa smart home commands you probably didn’t know about.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!