Amazon Alexa laughing randomly; but are users laughing?

Is this the artificial intelligence invasion?

By Vishal Kawadkar

    Amazon Alexa powered smart speakers have become a household thing for a huge number of people across the globe. Although Alexa can be useful in numerous ways, if the reports are to be believed, the device is scaring the living daylights of some users.

    Amazon Alexa laughing randomly; but are users laughing?

    According to a report from BuzzFeed, many users have reported that their Alexa-powered speakers start laughing without a specific reason.

    The scary part

    The smart voice assistant is reportedly laughing following regular voice commands, and in some cases, does it completely on its own. Many users took to Twitter to post their scary experience.

    "Lying in bed about to fall asleep when Alexa on my Amazon Echo Dot lets out a very loud and creepy laugh...there's a good chance I get murdered tonight."

    "I was trying to turn off some lights and they kept turning back on. After the third request, Alexa stopped responding and instead did an evil laugh. The laugh wasn't in the Alexa voice. It sounded like a real person. My wife was there when it happened and she is the only person who can drop-in. I still get chills."

    It gets weird

    "I was manually turning the volume down using the buttons on my echo dot and it started laughing like she was being tickled. It was the weirdest thing..."

    "So I just used my Alexa to set a two-minute timer while trying to do a plank..........and I asked how much time I had left and she LAUGHED."

    While it sounds funny at first, it also raises privacy concerns of the users and also the safety parameters on using AI-enabled devices in their houses.

    Amazon's response

    The company in a statement to BuzzFeed said "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.

    Amazon Echo Plus: How to Setup, Add Skills and Give Commands
    What's cooking?

    What's cooking?

    The company has been continuously adding new skills to its smart speakers. It recently launched a new feature that allows a user to create or update their Amazon Music Playlist using their voice commands. Voice commands can be also used to add the current song to an existing playlist. They can also, or create a new playlist with the current song as the first track.

    Amazon and Ground Control are working together towards an Alexa skill that will channel Gordon Ramsay and rate the dishes cooked by a user. Gordon Ramsey is a known name in the food industry and he is one hell of a food critic.

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