Amazon

Alexa Is Randomly Laughing, But Nobody's in on the Joke

Some Alexa users have heard random, creepy giggles from the virtual assistant in recent weeks. Amazon says the problem was the result of a false positive.
Alexa Is Randomly Laughing, But Nobody's in on the Joke
Image credit: via PC Mag
3 min read
This story originally appeared on PCMag

Amazon's Alexa apparently thinks something is pretty funny, but isn't letting anyone in on the joke.

As The Sacramento Bee reports, some Alexa users have heard random giggles from the virtual assistant in recent weeks. Moreover, people are saying that the laugh they're hearing isn't in Alexa's usual voice, which makes the experience even creepier.

"I was trying to turn off some lights and they kept turning back on," one Reddit user posted last month. "After the third request, Alexa stopped responding and instead did an evil laugh. The laugh wasn't in the Alexa voice. It sounded like a real person. My wife was there when it happened and she is the only person who can drop-in. I still get chills."

Several Twitter users have recently reported similar experiences, and one person even managed to capture it on video:


Turns out, these users aren't being overly dramatic or hallucinating these strange LOLs. In a Wednesday statement to PCMag, Amazon confirmed this is an actual thing that's happening.

The online retail giant said that "in rare cases, 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,'" Amazon said. "We are also changing Alexa's response from simply laughter to 'Sure, I can laugh' followed by laughter.'"

News of this Alexa oddity comes after the service went down for several hours last week. During the outage, Echo device owners reported seeing red rings rather than blue, as well as a variety of error messages, including: "I'm having trouble understanding right now. Please try a little later"; "I'm not sure what went wrong" and "Sorry, your Echo lost its connection." That outage was, strangely, a case of life imitating advertising.

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