In internet slang, an Easter egg is an unexpected or undocumented feature in media or in online material that is included for the purposes of a call-back joke or a bonus for those that discover it or understand its meaning. They are often sprinkled throughout blockbuster movie franchises for the die-hard fans to enjoy. Think of franchises like Avengers, or the TV show Lost, for instance. But they can also be used on websites, in marketing, and just as a fun treat for consumers. (It’s small, but one of my favourites was a small dinosaur icon on a piece of marketing software. If you hovered over it, the dinosaur would say “RAR”). But these online Easter eggs aren’t just embedded in visual media. They can also be found in AI voice assistants, like Siri and Alexa.
If you ask specific questions of Siri or Alexa or really any of the many digital assistants on the market, you might discover a particularly fun answer. These answers are programmed in by someone with a sense of humour, and they make the voice assistants a lot of fun sometimes.
For instance, have you ever asked Siri to tell you a dad joke? She’ll happily regale you with some real groaners. Ask Alexa if she can dream, and she might answer, “Yes, and I can tell you firsthand that I sometimes dream of electric sheep.” If you tell her you like big butts, she responds with this. You can even, it turns out, create your own Easter eggs.
So what’s your favourite answer Alexa or Siri has given you to a question? Think of something good. We might just have an egg-tra cool contest for you to enter next week with your answer!