first_img Alexa Lets You Donate School Supplies to Students in NeedAmazon Alexa Provides NHS Medical Advice in the UK Stay on target Some of you might remember Big Mouth Billy Bass from his numerous… er… hilarious? TV appearances. Well, he’s back. And this time he’s not singing “Don’t worry, be happy.”Billy has been given a properly geeky upgrade for 2016, thanks to Brian Kane and the industrial design group at the Rhode Island School of Design. They removed his primitive, turn-of-the-millennium brain and replaced it with full-blown artificial intelligence.Meet Alexa Bass, the taxidermied virtual assistant of Jeff Foxworthy’s wildest dreams. She’s powered, obviously, by Amazon’s in-house assistant, and ready to serve.It’s even more satisfying to see Billy Bass flap his jaws to Alexa’s responses like an actor in a badly-dubbed Kung Fu movie than it was to hear him sing and spout quips. Maybe not quite as satisfying as hearing him recite Monty Python lines like someone modded him to do back in 2009. Here’s a video of that glorious hack:So where did the idea for this amazing (or nightmarish, depending on your feelings about Billy Bass) come from? Kane says it was meant “as an in-class demo on rapid prototyping for my new AI design course.” He doesn’t mention technical details, but it’s likely that he and his students took advantage of the Alex API. Amazon opened access to it shortly after they launched the Echo Dot in April of this year.Maybe he and his students will take on other iconic talking bric-a-brac from the not-too-distant past. Perhaps an Alex Ruxpin is in the offing? Or a Furbexa?last_img

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