Lola Openg and Alexa

Published March 16, 2018, 11:56 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Rizal Obanil

If you want something done, do it yourself.


This, would probably be the most apt saying to capture a grandmother’s interaction with an AI (artificial intelligence) assistant which Amazon boasts could “do it all.”

Well, apparently — as the now viral video of Teofila Pegollo would prove – not everything really.

Can it actually scratch one’s back?

In a 3-minute long video, Pegollo, now affectionately called by netizens as “Lola Openg” or the “scratch my back” Lola, struggles to give instructions to the AI assistant, even just to say her name right.

The AI’s name is Alexa, but Lola Openg, despite the feeble attempts of her daughter Serly to correct her, calls the former Alaska several times, eliciting laughter from her relatives.

When Alexa fails to heed her command, Serly reminds her she should actually give in English. Pegollo however quips “Ay tamad!” (lazy).

After struggling several times to have an actual meaningful conversation with the AI, Lola Openg encourages Alexa to learn Tagalog or Filipino instead, so that they can better understand each other.

The video has been viewed 1.2 million times and has been shared 20,000 times over.

Jonathan Gonzales, the one who uploaded the video on Facebook told ABS-CBN News that their grandparents (Lola Openg and her husband) were farmers in Indang Cavite, before they moved to the US in 1977 with their five daughters.

When all seemed lost to Lola Openg she pulls out a wooden “back scratcher”, a wooden stick ornament with a small claw-like hand at the end and threatens to whack Alexa with it. “Ay papaluin ko na ‘to e. (I’m gonna whack her!).”

Tired of playing games with Alexa, Lola Openg puts the “back scatcher” to good use and finally does what was now obvious to many one of the things that the AI assistant can’t do.

One point for Lola Openg, zero for Alexa.

Below is the link of the viral video:

Once again, my grandma is disenchanted with voice service technology… #AVS #alexa #echospot

Posted by Jonathan Gonzales on Monday, March 12, 2018