Amazon is aware that Alexa is scaring people with seemingly random laughter

CNBC
Thursday, Mar 08, 2018
Photo: Reuters

Amazon is aware that its Alexa virtual assistant has been freaking people out with seemingly random and "creepy" laughter and is working to fix the issue, the company told CNBC in a statement.

Over the last several weeks, some owners of Amazon's Echo smart speakers or other Alexa-enabled devices have posted on Twitter and Reddit that their devices have spontaneously started laughing without being triggered or when asked to do other things.

Some of these reported cases seem to make more sense than others. One Reddit user said that Alexa laughed after the command, "Alexa, patio off," which could sound vaguely like, "Alexa, laugh." Others have reported creepier occurrences like hearing Alexa giggle without any prompt.

On Wednesday, more users reported bizarre scenarios, leading up to a trending Twitter moment.

"We're aware of this and working to fix it," an Amazon representative said.

The spokesperson later responded with additional comment, saying that the company is disabling Alexa's response to the command "laugh":

"In rare circumstances, Alexa can mistakenly hear the phrase "Alexa, laugh." We are changing that phrase to be "Alexa, can you laugh?" which is less likely to have false positives, and we are disabling the short utterance "Alexa, laugh." We are also changing Alexa's response from simply laughter to "Sure, I can laugh" followed by laughter."

This article was first published on CNBC

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