It all comes down to user interface design. A good interface will grab you attention only when it has something important to say. And it will avoid false warnings. A lousy interface *is* distracting. So is an interface that screws up, by grabbing your attention with incorrect or irrelevant information.
Just as an example: my current car has a very distracting audible and visual warning when it detects ice on the road. The problem is: this warning delivers 99% false positives (in fact, it seems to be triggered simply by the thermometer crossing a temperature threshold (3C), in either direction). So - yes - it is a dangerous distraction. However, if the manufacturer had actually gotten it right, it would have been very valuable.
As far as issuing commands, it is really the same thing: poor design. Is the interface reliable enough that you can trust it to do what you say? Does it give positive confirmation, or leave you wondering?