Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Amazon Admits Alexa Is Creepily Laughing at People and Is Working on a Fix

Shannon Liao, the Verge:

Over the past few days, users with Alexa-enabled devices have reported hearing strange, unprompted laughter. Amazon responded to the creepiness in a statement to The Verge, saying, “We’re aware of this and working to fix it.”

As noted in media reports and a trending Twitter moment, Alexa laughs without being prompted to wake. People on Twitter and Reddit reported that they thought it was an actual person laughing near them, which can be scary when you’re home alone. Many responded to the cackling sounds by unplugging their Alexa-enabled devices.

Just one more thing Amazon’s virtual assistants can do that the HomePod cannot.

But why is this possible at all? Is there some sort of hidden maniacal laughter mode? Is that something people would ever want to trigger intentionally, let alone have the device invoke accidentally? Is this a prank? And could you trust Amazon’s virtual assistant to not do anything like this again?