Why did the chicken cross the road? Just ask Alexa

You know virtual assistants can organise your diary, but did you know they can also tell you a joke? Here’s a look at the lighter side of the digital PA...

27 Sep 2017

Thanks to technical wizardry, voice-controlled assistants – like Alexa, Cortana and Siri – are helping us to stay in control of our busy lives. You can pair them with other smart devices and apps to control your household appliances, organise your calendar and even book you a cab

But these clever gadgets aren’t just for the mundane. The software genius at Amazon, Microsoft and Apple have loaded them with all the witty repertoire a silver-tongued PA could need.

Here’s a little look at what the top-three voice-controlled gadgets offer and some of the wacky questions they’ll answer…


Amazon Echo – AKA Alexa

This voice-controlled speaker can be wirelessly paired with other smart devices and synced with your apps giving you total control. It can dim the lights, turn up the heating and even book a restaurant. 

But don’t be fooled by Alexa’s serene voice. This clever virtual assistant has a sense of humour and a few sassy comebacks of her own.

Amazon Echo at home 

Try asking:

  • Alexa, is Santa real?
  • Alexa, where are my keys?
  • Alexa, will you marry me?
  • Alexa, get me a beer.
  • Alexa, what’s the first rule of Fight Club?

Want to try Alexa for yourself? View the full Amazon range here


Microsoft Cortana

Just like a personal assistant – albeit a virtual one – Cortana is there to perform tasks and answer questions. No matter how out-there they may be.

Need to make a list? Then just call it out to Cortana and she’ll note it down. Can’t forget an important date? No problem, she’ll sync with your calendar and remind you of your appointments. Want to know all the words to Bohemian Rhapsody? Then Cortana’s got it covered.

Cortana Question Screen

You can pair her with a number of devices, but Windows 10 users enjoy a few extra benefits – like the Dictate feature or asking her to send an email or find a file.

Cortana might seem subservient but she’s got a few witty replies up her sleeve, if you ask the right questions.

Try asking:

  • Hey Cortana, are you male or female?
  • Hey Cortana, why did the chicken cross the road?
  • Hey Cortana, what are you wearing?
  • Hey Cortana, tell me a joke.
  • Hey Cortana, are you real?


Apple’s Siri

Siri first appeared on the iPhone 4s and it’s fair to say her intelligence has grown with age. With Siri, you can seamlessly interact with your iPhone, iPad, iTouch or Apple Watch – ask her to call a friend, set a date and much, much more.

But Siri isn’t all work, work, work.

Try asking:

  • What does the fox say?
  • How much do you earn?
  • What came first, the chicken or the egg?
  • Why are fire trucks red?
  • What’s your favourite animal?


Browse our full range of voice-controlled gadgets

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