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Science
08 Mar 2018

Bug in Amazon's Alexa makes it randomly laugh, scares users

In a strange and rather amusing bug, users of devices enabled with Amazon's digital voice assistant Alexa have reported that the latter seems to randomly start laughing of its own accord, without being prompted to.

The complaints state that the laughter comes without the devices being woken up, that is, without the signature blue light that accompanies responses on Alexa-enabled devices.

Here's more.

In context

Alexa's unsolicited laughter is creeping out its users

The creepy, unprompted laughter

Amazon acknowledges the problem, working to fix it

Explanation

Amazon acknowledges the problem, working to fix it

Confirming the issue, Amazon explained the reason behind it.

"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," it said.

"We are also changing Alexa's response from simply laughter to 'sure, I can laugh' followed by laughter," Amazon added.

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Alexa keeps being in the news for wrong reasons

Since it isn't a case of accidentally triggering the voice assistant, many users of the Echo smart speaker responded by unplugging their devices out of fear. Notably, Alexa suffered an outage due to a broader cloud service problem less than a week ago.

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