Amazon’s Alexa apparently has been malfunctioning -- and it's caused quite a shock.
The ecommerce giant’s virtual assistant has been heard laughing in a creepy, maniacal way without being prompted -- and it became a trending moment on Twitter Wednesday.
“‘Cameras and software do not have emotions, and it is safe to say that they never will.’ one of my student arguments from their midterm that I put here to ponder in 10 years when my camera laughs at me... what is that?... Alexa already laughs at you randomly...” tweeted Andrew Bell, a “data nerd” in Richmond, Virginia.
Alexa allows customers to request information, play music from their library, make calls, listen to audiobooks, and control smart home devices.
Amazon said in a statement to the Washington Post that the outbursts are due to its smart speakers hearing accidental orders. “In rare circumstances, Alexa can mistakenly hear the phrase 'Alexa, laugh,' ” Amazon said. To fix the issue, Amazon is disabling that command and changing the trigger phrase to “Alexa, can you laugh?”
Amazon is also reportedly changing Alexa's response to that command: Rather than have the assistant laugh right away, the cackling will be preceded by the sentence, “Sure, I can laugh.”
Some Echo users reported last week that the voice assistant was down for several hours.