Is Amazon Alexa laughing at you?

By Dan Wilson March 11, 2018 - 9:38 pm

The have been widespread reports that Amazon Alexa has been freaking users out by giving a creepy laugh at unexpected moments and even reading out the names of funeral homes. The cause of the problem hasn’t been revealed but Amazon has said it is working to resolve the problem.

We haven’t personally experienced the bug. Have you? If so, please do let us know what’s been occurring. This follows a problem last week where Amazon Alexa stopped working altogether and wouldn’t respond to voice commands at all and essentially lost her voice.

Amazon has said said on the record: “We’re aware of this and working to fix it.”

Amazon has also said it has several ways of dealing with the problem. One fix will involve disabling the phrase: “Alexa, laugh,” and they have also changed the command to “Alexa, can you laugh?” The company also says the latter phrase is “less likely to have false positives,” or in other words the Alexa software is likely to mistake common words and phrases that sound similar to the one that makes Alexa start laughing. “We are also changing Alexa’s response from simply laughter to ‘Sure, I can laugh,’ followed by laughter,” according to an Amazon spokesperson said.

They added: “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.’”

It is is sometimes rather amusing how easily Amazon can be confused. Even, needless to say, just mentioning the word Alexa can get her going and seeking a command. Have you experienced and funny moments?

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