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Yesterday, while home with the family, we wanted to listen to a particular song to motivate us during tidy up time. That song had the b-word in the title, which is probably on the milder side of foul language. However, it got caught in Alexa’s Explicit Filter. No problem… “Alexa, turn off Explicit Filter”. Then… “Alexa, Play Work by Britney Spears”

Playing Work [Bleep… the actual sound] by Britney Spears from Spotify

What occurred to me is that that bleep is much more powerful than the expletive itself. Alexa saying expletives seems to give them an also clinical sound to them.

We’ve had some experience with expletives. Our Ubi Portal Skill was delisted about a year ago after some developers used it to program foul worded responses to custom queries to the Skill. We already had an explicit filter in place but it was clearly no match for the creativity of developers. Alaska is a state. A pipeline is a way of carrying oil somewhere, but putting them together turns into something horrific. I only know this after we expanded our English explicit filter to cover 3,000+ terms and replace them all with “nice”.

Alexa also has the ability to change a word label as expletive into a bleep:

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From Alexa Developers… SSML tagging

Maybe as one’s lexicon of bad language gets larger, the bleep becomes more powerful? Maybe there will come a time when we’ll be bleeping out the bleep all together?

Just as Jimmy Kimmel about the power of the bleep…

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