In the 1950s, a movie executive predicted that interest in a new technology—the television—would dwindle after six months. In the 1970s, the chairman of a computer manufacturing company asserted that no one would actually want a computer in their home. And in the 1990s, one economist declared that the impact of the internet would be no greater than that of fax machines.

Emerging technologies often face skepticism, especially if it isn’t immediately clear how they work or what benefit they serve. The same goes for voice assistants like Alexa: Aspects of how they work are sometimes still misunderstood.

We’re here to address a few common myths and demystify how Alexa works. Here’s what you need to know: