Published: Sat, March 10, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Why your digital home assistant, Alexa, is laughing at you

Why your digital home assistant, Alexa, is laughing at you

Several people who own Amazon's Echo speakers have reported a unusual bug: The Alexa voice assistant has been laughing for apparently no reason.

"In rare circumstances, Alexa can mistakenly hear the phrase "Alexa, laugh".

The first reports of the laughter began to surface over the weekend.

Customers disabling their Echo speakers to stop hearing nightmare-inducing laughs doesn't reflect well on Amazon, which is why the company has now announced that it's aware of the problem and is working on a fix.

Amazon is also changing Alexa's response to that command: rather than have the assistant laugh right away, its cackling will be preceded by the sentence, "Sure, I can laugh".

The Alexa team has also disabled the phrase "Alexa, laugh" as a trigger.

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At least, that's what Amazon Echo owners say they've been hearing lately.

Even more terrifying is that users have claimed the laughter they've been hearing over the past couple of days is different to the programmed Alexa laughter.

The report says that Alexa will only respond if it is "confident" that you're asking another question and that it's not just background noise.

A lot of people have gotten used to Alexa hearing every word they're saying, but there are occasions when the smart assistant does something weird that reminds us how unusual it is to have a digital robot around all the time.

Market research indicates that 35.6 million Americans use voice-activated digital assistants, with Amazon devices now making up around 70 percent of the market, and that within the next four years, 55 percent of American households will own their own #Digital home assistant device.

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