Amazon's Alexa is going to college

Saint Louis University is putting an Echo Dot in every dorm room and campus apartment.

Marrian Zhou Staff Reporter
Marrian Zhou is a Beijing-born Californian living in New York City. She joined CNET as a staff reporter upon graduation from Columbia Journalism School. When Marrian is not reporting, she is probably binge watching, playing saxophone or eating hot pot.
Marrian Zhou
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Saint Louis University is putting Amazon's Echo Dot in every dorm room and campus apartment. 

Saint Louis University

A US college is bringing Amazon's Alexa onto its campus and in force.

Saint Louis University will put 2,300 Amazon Echo Dots in dorm rooms by the start of classes later this month, according to the Missouri university's blog post. The Alexa-enabled devices will answer more than 100 questions regarding the university, such as "Where is the registrar's office?" and "What time does the library open today?"

"The students we attract are highly driven to achieve success in and out of the classroom," said David Hakanson, vice president and CIO of the university, in the blog post. "Every minute we can save our students from having to search for the information they need online is another minute that they can spend focused on what matters most: their education."

When students come back to school, Alexa can also give information about athletic events, concerts, student events and organizations, service opportunities and more.

"Amazon Web Services is proud to work with SLU to provide students with quick access to important information, making them feel more comfortable and confident around campus and in the classroom," said Andrew Ko, director of education at AWS, in an email statement. "We applaud SLU's commitment to using technology like Amazon Alexa to enhance campus life for its students."

SLU experimented with Amazon's Alexa-enabled devices in dorms last spring, and students responded to the concept positively, according to the blog post. The SLU skill -- a program that enables Alexa devices to answer specific questions -- was created by firm n-Powered.

Saint Louis University didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.