Amazon's Alexa devices are scaring people with out-of-the-blue cackles

Deezer subscribers can use voice commands to call up their music library on Amazon Echo and other Alexa-enabled devices

Deezer subscribers can use voice commands to call up their music library on Amazon Echo and other Alexa-enabled devices

Amazon Echo users are reporting that Alexa, the virtual personal assistant that comes with several devices in the Echo line, sometimes begins to break into an unprompted fit of laughter - occasionally doing so at inappropriate times. One Reddit user said that Alexa laughed after the command, "Alexa, patio off", which could sound vaguely like, "Alexa, how do you laugh?"

"Lying in bed about to fall asleep when Alexa ... lets out a very loud and creepy laugh", said Gavin Hightower on Twitter. "I'd rather it laugh at me tbh", tweeted user @HeyItsKamo.

In this another step towards our imminent demise? "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". It sounded like a real person.

In a thread on Reddit, at least two users reported experiencing similar, unprompted laughing from Alexa but did not provide a timeframe for when the incident occurred. First of all, you can ask Alexa to laugh, so it's possible that the mic used to pick up on commands is sensitive in a way that the program accidentally interprets as a request for laughter.

US Republican senator backs review of Broadcom's Qualcomm bid
Just 10.5% of the outstanding NXP common shares have been tendered to date in the deal originally proposed in late October . Unsurprisingly, Broadcom says this is a desperate move on the part of Qualcomm to stop the takeover.


Amazon confirmed on Wednesday that devices enabled with its smart assistant are emitting disturbing cackles. "Now, I know that stupid device heard "laugh" instead of 'lamp off", but I can't sleep anymore". "I still get chills".

The Daily Dot reported that it's likely a "rogue third-party app is running in the background and purposely creeping people out" or that it's possible the devices "are infected with malware".

Another user responded to the comment to say, "Holy crap this happened to me and I [thought] I was alone". In a statement to ABC, Amazon acknowledged that Alexa can mistakenly hear the phrase "Alexa, laugh", which it will soon disable.

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