As of January 2019, over 100 million Alexa-enabled devices had been sold. That’s 100 million users relying on Alexa to tweak their thermostats, stream their music and schedule their appointments. Whilst there are many who view these devices simply as helping hands - there are others who consider them to be Trojan horses in the age of digital surveillance. This project centres around those who view Alexa as both of these things; those who use Alexa, but do so with a looming paranoia about where their data might end up, and for what purpose it might be used.
CounterBug is a family of speculative accessories intended to confuse Alexa’s algorithms. Each accessory responds to a different form of surveillance paranoia; one to censor the user’s language so that they don’t get in trouble with the NSA, one to disrupt Amazon’s tailored advertising algorithms, and one that chats to Alexa about virtuous topics whilst they’re out the house.