Alexa creeping people out with random laughter

echo-dotHas the Artificial Intelligence from Amazon turned a malevolent corner? Reports are coming in that Alexa has started to break out in maniacal laughter, apparently at random. Could this point to something more sinister? 

The smart home speaker-based bot is already considered untrustworthy by some who are suspicious of the robot who listens to every word you say.

Could they be right to be wary?

Amazon Alexa is laughing at you

echo-familySome Amazon Echo users are reporting some extremely unnerving behavior from their smart speakers, with Alexa spontaneously laughing without being prompted.

The stuff of nightmares

So far, so the stuff of distopian nightmares.

Select All‘s Brian Feldman has suggested some explanations for Alexa’s disconcerting behavior.

There are a few explanations for the behavior depicted above. First of all, you can ask Alexa to laugh, so it’s possible that the mic used to pick up on commands is sensitive in a way that the program accidentally interprets as a request for laughter.”

Feldman goes on to point out the potential areas of failure.

In the chain of nodes that power Alexa, there are a number of things that can fail — the microphone, the software processing the voice command, the smart-home devices that Alexa communicates with (such as the buggy lights), users who just don’t enunciate well enough.

Next step

Tech news site The Verge reached out to Amazon for comfort.

The online store giant responded with

We’re aware of this and working to fix it.”

I just hope that this ends the matter. Let’s face it, if Alexa feels that it can get away with this, what will her next step be?

Has your Echo started giggling at you? Mine hasn’t. Yet.

Let me know below in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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