Amazon quickly took action after several consumers complained that their Alexa devices were freaking them out due to random laughing. The voice-enabled digital assistant the Echo was giggling at unexpected times, causing users to wonder what was happening.
CaptHandlebar posted on Twitter: “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.”
Other Twitter users expressed similar puzzlement over the Echo’s random bursts of laughter.
David Woodland wrote: “Having an office conversation about pretty confidential stuff and Alexa just laughed. Anybody else ever have that? It didn’t chime as if we had accidentally triggered her to wake. She simply just laughed. It was really creepy.”
Joseph Michael referenced an episode of the tech series Black Mirror and wrote: “I just asked #Alexa for the weather report and she laughed maniacally!! However, she still gave me the weather. I searched around @amazon and apparently this “just happens”…..like biiiiiitch, I saw this episode already so you can’t-fool me!! @blackmirror.”
The cause of the problem? Alexa simply misheard a command.
Amazon said in a statement (via Sky News): “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.’”
The tech giant added: “We are also changing Alexa’s response from simply laughter to ‘Sure, I can laugh’ followed by laughter.”
However, several users who reported the creepy laugh said they didn’t wake up Alexa with a command—the device just started laughing randomly on its own.
Amazon has already integrated the fix.
Robert #ResistSandy tweeted: “I am, at the very least, extremely relieved that almost everything that happened to me last night with my #Alexa experience has happened to others. At least I know I’m not technically crazy.”