Amazon’s Echo Look is an Alexa fashion assistant that combines human and machine intelligence to tell you how you look in an outfit, keeps track of what’s in your wardrobe, and recommends clothes to buy from Amazon.com.
Made generally available to the public in recent weeks, the Echo Look debuted in April 2017, but was available by invite only for more than a year — a first for Alexa-enabled devices. Over time, Amazon will team Echo Look with Prime Wardrobe, an Amazon program akin to modern fashion companies like Stitch Fix and Trunk Club that lets users try on clothes and send back what they don’t want to buy. All the meanwhile, Amazon’s facial recognition software Rekognition keeps making headlines for being used by U.S. law enforcement agencies and misidentifying more than two dozen members of Congress as criminals.
Let’s examine why it can be a lot of fun to use the Echo Look, why it took Amazon a year to make the device generally available, and why its fashion assistant’s AI is inherently biased.