Amazon Knows Why Alexa Was Laughing at Its Customers

Emilio Banks
March 10, 2018

Amazon says that in rare circumstances Alexa can mistakenly hear the phrase "Alexa, laugh" even when the phrase wasn't said. It's fixed now, according to Mashable, and you'll have to say, "Alexa, can you laugh" to get a chuckle from your Echo. The company will also change the device's response to "Sure, I can laugh" followed by laughter.

In truly petrifying news, Alexa, the voice of the Amazon Echo device, has begun manically laughing at random.

I heard a woman laugh, and lights were still on.

Amazon is trying to stop its Amazon Echos, powered by the Alexa voice-activated assistant, from suddenly laughing. One report previous year estimated it had 16 million subscribers, which would slide it into third place behind Spotify and Apple, but Amazon hasn't confirmed that number.

The program activates by saying the word "Alexa" then a command like "play music". Last year, a viral video showed a woman asking Alexa whether she was "connected to the Central Intelligence Agency", but the Amazon Echo device stayed silent and then went to sleep without a word.

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Another Twitter video, posted by user @annielbonannieTN, shows Alexa producing the laughter from the default Amazon Echo speaker.

Our question is this: why does Alexa need to laugh at all?

This laugh sounds slightly sarcastic, as if the person laughing were trying to convey that they didn't really find whatever they'd just heard amusing. This explanation is flimsy at best and doesn't explain the instances of Alexa laughing when people were in bed asleep, or not talking.

Amazon has since issued a statement, confirming that it is aware of the problem and is aiming to fix it by changing the voice command for laughter.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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