News & Politics

Why Is Amazon Alexa Telling People the Wrong Date for Trump's State of the Union Address?

(Screenshot of video by Matt Margolis, via YouTube)

Post updated. See below.

If you’re looking forward to watching President Trump’s upcoming State of the Union address but don’t know when it is, do not ask any Amazon Alexa devices.

On Friday evening I experimented with an Amazon Echo (a second generation Echo Dot) in my house by asking it what I thought was a rather simple question.

“Alexa, when is the next State of the Union?” I asked.

“The next State of the Union will occur on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 at 9 p.m.”

Sorry, Alexa, but that is the wrong answer. The next State of the Union is actually on Tuesday, February 4, 2020. You can watch video of Alexa giving me the incorrect response here:

After this test, I tried it out on a newer generation Echo Dot, and on the Echo Show 5. Each device gave me the same, incorrect answer. PJM Managing Editor Paula Bolyard said her Amazon device gave the same message.

Does Amazon not want people to watch Trump’s State of the Union address? How could they possibly get such an easy question wrong?

The date of the State of the Union address was finalized back in December, two days after House Democrats voted to impeach President Trump. So, it’s been nearly a month and a half since the date was set, and Amazon has been telling people the wrong date this whole time? There’s no excuse for that. It’s almost as though Amazon doesn’t want people to watch Trump’s State of the Union.

UPDATE: For what it’s worth, Siri gets it right.

UPDATE, February 1, 2020, 12:48 PM ET: Amazon has finally fixed the error.


Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis