Alexa speakers bursting into laughter all of a sudden is driving the creeps out of its users. While people have no doubt been taken aback by the unexpected behavior of the Alexa devices, Amazon has said they have taken cognizance of the development and are working on a fix already.
Amazon said a likely reason for the smart speakers to start laughing is that it might mistake other words for the phrase ‘Alexa, laugh’, which happens to be the command for the smart speaker to start laughing. As a way around, Amazon said they are changing that command to something more elaborate, like ‘ Alexa, can you laugh?’.
Alexa said the above is expected to have less ‘false positives’. Besides, Alexa’s immediate response to the above phrase – ‘Alexa, can you laugh’ is also undergoing a change. So instead of the speaker breaking into a laughter right away, Alexa will instead respond saying ‘Sure, I can laugh’, following by the device actually laughing after that.
I live alone and have lights controlled by Amazon Echo. Tonight, while sleeping, i closed my eyes and said “Alexa, lamp off.”
I heard a woman laugh, and lights were still on.
Now, I know that stupid device heard “laugh” instead of “lamp off”, but I can’t sleep anymore….. #fml
— Vedant Naik (@vedantNAIK) March 4, 2018
Lying in bed about to fall asleep when Alexa on my Amazon Echo Dot lets out a very loud and creepy laugh… there’s a good chance I get murdered tonight.
— Gavin Hightower (@GavinHightower) February 26, 2018
Our @amazonecho just randomly started laughing. No one spoke to it. No one was even in the room with it. I’m out y’all.
— Lauren Hall (@LaurenHall_16) February 14, 2018
Amazon also said the above change is part of a new update which is already being rolled out. Current users, therefore, will do good to update their device to prevent it from laughing spontaneously. In fact, some users claimed Alexa is starting to laugh even if the device has not been asked to even wake up, or in response to some other command. For instance, some user said the speaker started laughing in response to something completely different, like asking the device to turn off lights.
No wonder, people hearing the sound of strangers laughing within their home found it scary, more so for those living alone. Maybe these are the sort of things we need to be used to in the digital age. Perhaps these would fuel a new Hollywood horror flick someday as well, with ‘possessed’ smart gadgets conspiring to kill humans and such; or zombies collaborating with such smart connected gadgets – read IoT – to imbibe more humans into their clans.