They just wanted to turn off the lights. ‘After the third request, Alexa stopped responding and instead did an evil laugh.’
By Vanessa Wong | 5 March 2018
BUZZFEED — Owners of Amazon Echo devices with the voice-enabled assistant Alexa have been pretty much creeped out of their damn minds recently. People are reporting that the bot sometimes spontaneously starts laughing — which is basically a bloodcurdling nightmare.
Update: Amazon said in a statement to BuzzFeed News on Wednesday afternoon, “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, and we are disabling the short utterance ‘Alexa, laugh.’ We are also changing Alexa’s response from simply laughter to ‘Sure, I can laugh,’ followed by laughter,” the company said.
OK, but what about when Alexa laughs unprompted, as some people have reported?
One person who was on the verge of falling into a peaceful slumber described hearing a “very loud and creepy laugh” from his Echo Dot. “There’s a good chance I get murdered tonight,” he tweeted. […]