It's truly creepy.
Is technology a bane or boon to our society? This question remains debatable even to this day. While we are absolutely not denying its contribution to advance our society and make our lives easier, we also cannot deny that there are quite a few gadgets these days that have become fairly creepy. From spy cameras to talking dolls, and internet surveillance, the world is full of weird gadgets that will give you the chills. And if you are one of those people who like messing around and playing pranks, you can now get as creative as you like. We have all heard and read stories about how creepy Alexa is and a lot of us have the fear that it might be eavesdropping in our conversations. Since the object is pretty creepy on its own, what's the harm in taking it a step forward. And this is exactly what Mike McGurrin decided to do.
McGurrin is a tech geek who has turned Amazon's AI personal assistant into a talking skull that will deliver you information through its chattering teeth. The spooky cranium also comes with a set of unblinking eyes and if you are unfortunate enough to make a direct eye-contact with it, you will be left with a feeling that the bot has eaten a part of our soul.
McGurrin, a computer and robotics hobbyist, used the Amazon Echo smart speaker to create his personal animatronic Alexa as part of The Yorick Project and wrote in detail on his blog, Aspiring Roboticist. He wrote, "I like to decorate for Halloween, including various talking skeletons that I’ve set up over the years. For Christmas 2015, my wife gave me a great 3 axis talking skull with moving eyes so I could upgrade one of the skeletons from just a moving jaw skull.”
If you want to make your own speaking Alexa skull, the detailed instruction has been put up online. Mike wrote, "I’m pretty happy with the result." Good for Mike but we cannot say we feel the same way. It turns out, Mike was inspired to make the skull after seeing a similar video online. Needless to say, the video was significantly less creepy and it shows the Alexa hack involving a singing fish decoration. Going after what Mike has made, it doesn't look like it will take long for people, who possess scary horse masks or taxidermy pieces to start making Alexa speak through the creepy objects of their own.
The entire project is documented on hackster under the title ‘The Yorick Project’, in which McGurrin writes in detail how you too can experiment with creepy decors and startle your friends with your ideas. We don't know yet if McGurrin will upload future videos in which the skull sings popular songs or recite poems, but we do know it will be a sight to behold.