Amazon’s Smart Speakers Are Laughing And Creeping Everyone Out



Amazon Echo Dot 2, Alexa Voice Service activated recognition system. [Shutterstock - pianodiaphragm] Amazon Echo Dot 2, Alexa Voice Service activated recognition system. [Shutterstock – pianodiaphragm] Photo of Eric Lieberman

12:21 PM 03/08/2018







There have been several reports of Amazon’s Alexa-powered devices, like smart speakers, laughing for no immediately apparent reason — a presumably unsettling experience for many.

The tech company, though, says it has a solution.

“In rare circumstances, Alexa can mistakenly hear the phrase ‘Alexa, laugh,'” an Amazon spokeswoman told Bloomberg. “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.'”

So Alexa decided to laugh randomly while I was in the kitchen. Freaked @SnootyJuicer and I out. I thought a kid was laughing behind me.

— CaptHandlebar (@CaptHandlebar) February 23, 2018

Also, in an attempt to further reduce any creepiness, it is changing Alexa‘s response to those queries by having the artificially intelligent personal assistant say, “Sure, I can laugh” before going into laughter.

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


Amazon had to alter the software for the aforementioned changes.

Many observers of the seemingly menacing device made cheeky comments about the whole ordeal. But overall, the situation may not look good for Amazon as people are becoming more aware of potential surveillance exploitation of smart electronics and already protesting the tech giant’s ubiquitousness.

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