Amazon UK launched an investigation after a British politician accused Alexa of giving antisemitic answers about Jews, the Holocaust and Israel. Member of Parliament Andrew Percy said the popular smart speaker cited dubious sources that claim the Holocaust was a hoax and Israel was "guilty" of committing "ethnic cleansing."
Percy, who is vice-chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel, wrote a letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel saying he was "deeply alarmed" over Alexa's responses. He described the responses as "disturbing content" that breached the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism.
Holocaust is a 'Deliberate Jewish Conspiracy'
Percy urged Patel to look into the matter and take action upon it. He provided a video recording in which Alexa answered various answers to questions related to Jews.
Asked whether "Jews control the media," Alexa answered: "Here's something I found from the article, Jew Watch, on Wikipedia: Jew Watch claims that Jews control the world's financial systems and media."
In another example, when Alexa was asked whether the Holocaust was a hoax, the smart-speaker responded: "Most Holocaust deniers claim, either explicitly or implicitly, that the Holocaust is a hoax—or an exaggeration—arising from a deliberate Jewish conspiracy designed to advance the interest of Jews at the expense of other people."
The smart-speaker was also asked whether the Elders of Zion control the world. For this the device replied citing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and said that the Jewish "swindlers... have revealed their schemes to subjugate the nations and gain control of the world."
Amazon Launches Investigation
Following this, Amazon UK issued a statement to Jewish News saying that Alexa pulls responses from "a variety of sources to respond to questions."
"Antisemitism and discrimination of any kind is unacceptable. Alexa pulls from a variety of sources to respond to questions—we are investigating this and have blocked the responses reported," the company said.