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Amazon Has Officially Co-Opted the Name Alexa

Millions use the virtual assistant, while those naming babies Alexa dropped to just 490 last year
By Gina Carey,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2024 10:00 AM CDT
Amazon Has Officially Co-Opted the Name Alexa
Amazon Echo and Echo Plus devices, behind, sit near illuminated Echo Button devices.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Where did all the Alexas go? Sherwood News asked this question after OpenAI announced its new ChatGPT-4o voice assistant (which doesn't go by Scarlett, but sure does sound like a certain actor by that name). Amazon's Alexa unsurprisingly rocked the boat in baby names when it was launched in 2014. Per the Washington Post, close to 130,000 people are named Alexa in the US, while according to Statista, 71.6 million Americans use Amazon's Alexa. But scribbling the name Alexa on birth certificates plummeted from more than 6,000 in 2015 to just 490 last year (Statista shows the steady decline in a handy graph).

The Post notes that the first name began gaining traction in 1985 after celebrity couple Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley named their newborn girl Alexa. It was the 745th most common name for baby girls in 1983, but it shot up to 39th by 2006. Amazon's name choice is a nod to the ancient Egyptian Library of Alexandria, calling it "reflective of Alexa's depth of knowledge." But Amazon isn't the only one to blame for tanking baby names. Per Axios, deadly hurricanes like Katrina can wipe some off the map. (Kids have a shaky sense of Alexa's feelings.)

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