Amazon Echo devices’ owners can be pardoned if they turned to Alexa and asked, “what’s so funny”? That’s because on Wednesday the disturbing report spread that the virtual assistant bizarrely got into random laughing fits, creeping out users of the best-selling voice assistant. The laugh, described by some as “witch-like” was reported to sometimes happen without the device being “woken” up.
The ‘problem’ was reported by a host of users on Twitter who mentioned that Alexa started to laugh randomly when they were doing routine tasks. There were a lot of spooked and confused users who couldn’t fathom what actually was happening. Sometimes, people reported, they’d be just sitting there in silence before Alexa began to laugh. Others said they might have just asked Alexa to turn off the lights–to be met with an eerie cackle. In fact, one user also mentioned how the Echo speaker started whistling on its own. But in each case, the Alexa seemed unsettlingly amused at the nature of humanity itself.
A user also took to Reddit two weeks ago and detailed the problems the Amazon Echo Dot was facing certain problems, including random laughter from Alexa.“We just added the echo dots two months ago. The dot we have in the master bath has twice now randomly played a track of a woman laughing at about 10 pm, the first time I thought the fire tv was sending audio through it since I had been trying to sync them up to the tv, but tonight was completely random. No indication on the app that the device heard any command. We had the dot laugh several times and it wasn’t the laugh Alexa produces, but definitely sounded like a canned laugh, not like someone laughing live,” read the post on Reddit.
It has even prompted Amazon to comment on it. The e-commerce giant told The Verge, “We are aware of this and working to fix it.” The company implied the problem was that Alexa was just mishearing people, so the simpler command “Alexa, laugh,” was changed to “Alexa, can you laugh?” Furthermore, Alexa will no longer just laugh when you ask her to. She’ll say “Sure, I can laugh,” and then laugh. With these changes, Alexa will never be a disembodied phantom chuckler again.