Ask Alexa for the value of pi (if you have time to kill)

Pi, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, is a number that can go on forever. Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant generally delivers brief answers to questions, but she makes an exception when you ask for the value of pi. Alexa’s not-so-pithy response came to our attention after Reddit user scarfacesaints posted a video of an Amazon Echo rattling off digits.

I immediately strolled over to the Amazon Echo that sits on a table in my living room and asked her the same question: “Alexa, what is the value of pi?” I found it starts off innocently enough. She lists the usual opening digits of 3.141592653589793…and so on. And on. And on some more. She eventually gets into figures like “octillion” and “quadrillion,” just in case you’re still keeping track.

Alexa has long been able to answer questions about pi, but the 90-second response is pretty epic. If you ask her simply, “What is pi?” you get a much shorter answer.

“The number pi is a mathematical constant, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, commonly approximated as 3.14159.”

The long-form pi response is one to keep in mind for the next Pi Day, coming up on March 14, 2017. It will make for a great party trick when you’re celebrating the joy of the world’s most famous mathematical constant.