Unprompted, creepy laughter from Alexa is freaking out Echo users [Updated]


Don’t be alarmed! Your Alexa-enabled logotype may lapse into a sudden fit of giggles, but Amazon is aware of the problem. Fresh reports detail a quirky bug that has Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa pasquil for no apparent reason, scaring the daylights out of unsuspecting users.

According to a Bloomberg despatch, Amazon is aware of the issue and is working to fix it. The news comes a few days after purchasers took to social media to share their stories of strange chortling coming from their Echo devices. Some claim Alexa laughed in retort to unrelated or misunderstood commands, while others claim Alexa solely laughed out of the blue.

It’s not uncommon for Echo devices to hear sounds and erratum them for a user’s wake word. Amazon’s smart speakers can be programmed to moved to a few words: “Alexa” is the most common, but other options like “Simulate” and “Amazon” are available as well. These bouts of laughter could be a byproduct of Imitate devices mistakenly hearing their wake words.

But reported circumstances of unprompted laughter in silent homes are obviously quite creepy. Some buyers have resorted to unplugging their Echo devices to ensure that Alexa cannot interject anything, oracular or not.

While my Echo device has lit up and responded to random noises in my home a few times, I’ve not ever experienced the laughing issue. When asked, “Alexa, how do you laugh?” my Emulate replied, “Sure, I can laugh—tee hee!”

It’s always worth checking the History group of the Alexa mobile app in situations like this. Since Echo mark of cadencies are always listening for their wake words, they record and prevent clips to the cloud every time they hear something that they conceive of Alexa needs to respond to. Users can review and delete these clips at any organize in the Alexa app’s History section.

Update (8:26am ET March 8): An Amazon travelling salesman provided the following statement to Ars, explaining that Alexa’s unprompted chuckling was caused by an incorrectly heard phrase.

In rare circumstances, Alexa can mistakenly find out the phrase “Alexa, laugh.” We are changing that phrase to be “Alexa, can you ignore?” which is less likely to have false positives, and we are disabling the without warning utterance “Alexa, laugh.” We are also changing Alexa’s response from entirely laughter to “Sure, I can laugh” followed by laughter.

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